Patterico's Pontifications

4/22/2010

Letter to the Editor

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 1:37 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

I got an email about this last week but I wasn’t sure if it was real or not. Apparently it’s real:

— DRJ

313 Responses to “Letter to the Editor”

  1. Of course in the old days sailors could run up bar tabs.

    Icy Texan (684095)

  2. I wish Bush had stopped spending like a drunken sailor when he ran out. We had already run out by the time Obama took over.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  3. Which means What? Obama & the current Congress had “no choice” but to continue defecit spending?

    Icy Texan (684095)

  4. Under the biggest economic cloud of the worst recession since the great depression, yes, Obama had no choice, just like FDR had no choice (unless he wanted the economy to literally collapse into a free fall). Also the point was that his letter, while humorous, is not based in fact. It was indeed Bush that was spending like a drunken sailor, and continued to spend after we ran out of money. That letter is a few years too late, and has the wrong name on it. I’m sorry if you don’t like the facts, but those are the facts. Surely it would still be humorous with the more accurate name “Bush” on it, right?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  5. So, when the need for fiscal responsibility is greatest, those that are overspending get a free pass?

    Icy Texan (684095)

  6. Wen Bush’s deficits were at their most jaw-droppingly alarming (ie, 1/4 the current deficits), we were in a recession, and one Bush inherited too, for that matter. I don’t recall him getting a pass, and I see no reason why Obama should either.

    Of course, I realize there were some benefits to Obama’s gross overspending. After all, when he was campaigning for Porkulus I he warned that if it didn’t pass, unemployment would reach 8%. I mean, yikes! EIGHT PERCENT! Wow, good thing that didn’t happen.

    Sean P (334463)

  7. #1 Icy Texan:

    Of course in the old days sailors could run up bar tabs.

    But generally only when sober. Ironic, ain’t it.

    But a lot more prudent fiscally than the latest troll du’jour.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  8. I wish Bush had stopped spending like a drunken sailor when he ran out. We had already run out by the time Obama took over.

    I am so tired of this asinine childish BS “argument”. Barack Obama’s smallest projected deficit, is at least twice as big as Bush’s worst deficit.

    Someone once pointed out that if Bush spent like a drunken sailor, then Obama is spending like the Spanish Armada on crack.

    JD (9f2abc)

  9. JD–waiting for Spanish sailors to complain–isn’t that racist or something?

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  10. If only Obama would quit when he ran out of money. Instead, he fired up the printing presses and sallied forth on his mission to out-drink spend everyone under the table. Yes, Bush and the Republicans overspent (and the Democrats did nothing to even try to stop them). Both parties are to blame. But trying to excuse Obama as if Bush was worse, not even a drunken sailor would fall for that nonsense.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  11. Excuse me Democrat apologists, but Your Democrats in Congress were demanding Bush SPEND MORE!! Can’t you people be honest at all?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  12. Care for more Kool-Aid Hooten?

    PatriotRider (483886)

  13. Hooten still is on his blame Bush platform. Here’s news Hooten. Obama has overspent more than Bush’s worse budget deficit and projects spending an order of magnitude greater deficits than Bush ever did.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. Excuse me, sailors spend their own money!

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  15. At least, we had the excuse we were drunk. Congress is just drunk on power.

    navyvet (8e1431)

  16. Ahem, excuse me, but a somewhat off-topic post, and you can delete it if you want. (It does deal with a “Reader’s View.)

    I just observed my child participate in the school’s “Earth Day” special presentation. As expected, the biggest topic was carbon footprints and global warming. Has anyone out there seen a sensible presentation on Earth Day for kids? Maybe we should make one, “Why you don’t have to cry over polar bears!”.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  17. Icy, maybe sailors could run a tab at the yacht club, but not on East Main Street. The beer joints and waterfront dives of my misspent youth all had a sign prominently displayed: In God we Trust, All Others pay Cash.

    ropelight (7ec00c)

  18. …a sensible presentation…
    They could sprinkle coal-dust on just one foot, instead of both, to demonstrate a reduction in their “carbon footprint” (Heh!).

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  19. DRJ, I got this email from a retired sailor more than 2 weeks ago. Too bad the donkey-crats don’t get the message.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  20. I’m sorry if you don’t like the facts, but those are the facts.

    As a Daniel Moyihan famously once said, you’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

    I’ve asked you repeatedly in the past to back up your many assinine statemenst with anything of actual substance, a link, a quotation, anything. Yet still we see nothing – go scream in the alley next time your brain starts overheating.

    Dmac (21311c)

  21. Dmac, you’re making an assumption not evident in the facts before us.

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  22. So at the time that we went from a surplus to a deficit, who was president? That is the person who didn’t quit spending after we ran out of money. I get all of your points, but technically I am correct. Just because Obama went on to spend more does not change the fact that it was Bush who was the one who didn’t stop spending when we hit $0, which is what that letter was about. “As a former drunken sailor, I quit when I ran out of money.” This is why I make the argument that the letter should have been directed at Bush, and not Obama. Did Obama spend more? Yes, but that is not the issue here.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  23. “Did Obama spend more? Yes, but that is not the issue here.”

    Oh, so the issue to you is how to help politicians cover up for their mistakes by pointing to mistakes made be politicians in another political party?

    The issue for me is that all overspending is terrible.

    Bush’s $400 billion deficit one year made me very concerned, and today’s deficit is just insane. The issue for me then and now is that we should have enough of a surplus to retire the debt before the next generation has to pay for our mistakes.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  24. “…Did Obama spend more? Yes, but that is not the issue here….”

    First, hand waving. Changing the subject.

    But more importantly? More? More?

    Let me remind people:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/

    That is not “more.” We need a better word. And here I thought the President was all smart and would not make the same mistake multipled by how much?

    Like I said: partisan troll.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  25. I agree. The amount of money we’re spending is absolutely, unequivocally ridiculous, and the blame for it lies at Obama’s feet (and Congress’ collective feet). To try to blame Obama’s spending on Bush is silly (although Bush certainly deserves some blame for his own profligate spending, even if it pales in comparison).

    And honestly, we need to start having rational discussions about taxation in this country.

    Leviticus (0fca60)

  26. @16 MD in Philly.

    I suggested to another co-worker (when I found out it was Earth Day and they asked what we should do) that we just step lightly today, no stomping or running or jumping up and down. Need to treat Earth nicely…today anyway.

    Andy (b63f79)

  27. I’m done with this thread. It wasn’t about who spent more, but rather who was the actual president at the exact moment in time that we ran out of money, which would have been the only time we could have stopped spending when we ran out. The following president, Obama, kept on spending money, but at no time could he have stopped before or at the moment we ran out, because we had already run out of money under Bush. Do you get the distinction? Is it a form of parsing? Somewhat. But it is technically correct. Done.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  28. “…So at the time that we went from a surplus to a deficit, who was president…”

    If you weren’t such a moron, and could read the stats from Treasury,
    you would know that at no time in the last twenty years has the National Debt decreased from one year to the next.
    So, knowing that, how did we have a surplus?

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  29. If the great compromise for the left and right was an increase in taxation and a massive cut in spending, I think most conservatives would be on board and most liberals would reject it.

    I think everyone should pay enough tax to feel some kind of consequence for government spending, though I can happily live with a progressive taxation system.

    I want a fair tax, or some fundamental change in our taxation system, not this marginal adjustment here and there to ‘rich people’. That’s a trick two ways. It helps fool some into thinking our spending crisis can be solved without harming the middle class. And it is tyranny (not the worst sort, but that’s what it is).

    Even though I know higher taxation would have a harmful impact on the economy, I think the much stronger dollar a greatly repaired spending policy would create more than balance that.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  30. “…It wasn’t about who spent more…”

    That is just plain funny. It’s like the fellow doesn’t read his own posts.

    “…I’m done with this thread…”

    One can only hope.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  31. Leviticus is demonstrating what I hope to see a whole lot of during the next few years: people ignoring partisan labels and looking at what politicians are doing.

    I am really nervous about third parties (call it the Perot Principle), but I cannot blame folks for finding the idea attractive.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  32. “Technically?” God, what a weasel.

    I’m done with this thread

    You need to be done with this blog.

    we need to start having rational discussions about taxation in this country.

    If only. We’ll never have one until the MSM stops papering over the enormous deficits facing our country right now, not to mention the figures that’ll come due shortly afterward. They don’t want a real discussion (and neither do most of the Dems) because they know what conclusions will be reached. What makes it even worse is their refusal to countenance any type of deviation from their meme, which results in blatant sliming from Clinton about the Tea Partier’s allegedly true “motivations.”

    Dmac (21311c)

  33. “in time that we ran out of money”

    We don’t really run out of money… it’s just a concept. We print money. We can’t really pay all our debt off either, because of the way our treasury functions.

    Clinton is the man you’re looking for. The surplus was an accounting trick, at least much of it, and we spent more than he got at the end of his presidency, but the fact that it’s besides the point for non shills has left the debate to democrat shills.

    You want to blame Bush. We get it, Chris. You don’t care about the actual problem. That everyone here already agrees that Bush overspent seems to be eluding you. You can’t win a debate against people who already agree with you… and that’s the real reason why that’s not interesting.

    You’ve got a really petty way about you. You refused to answer my request that you back up your claims in two threads now. Simple to prove points (if you weren’t a liar). Can’t you realize that you look ridiculous when you act like this?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  34. Here’s a question for the fiscal historians:
    At any point since the opening of the Second Congress (1791?), has the United States Government retired its’ debt (ZERO National Debt)?If so, that would be Moron Chris’ point where we “ran out of money”.
    It certainly hasn’t been since the Civil War.

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  35. “…If so, the next time they floated a bond issue would be Moron Chris’ point where we “ran out of money”…”

    Need an editor.

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  36. I would love Crissy to explain to us when it was that we had no debt, or maybe he could even explain to us how his imaginary surpluses were calculated. I know, it is more likely that I can teach quantum physics to a pile of mulch.

    JD (9f2abc)

  37. “I am really nervous about third parties (call it the Perot Principle), but I cannot blame folks for finding the idea attractive.”

    – Eric Blair

    I don’t think there’s any way to hold the two major parties accountable without third, fourth, fifth parties. Right now you’ve got a textbook case of cartel-spawned market division: bipartisan redistricting campaigns designed to insulate incumbents from competition. Because these incumbents don’t have to compete for reelection, they have no incentive to act in the interest of their constituents (beyond paying them the most cursory sort of lip-service). I don’t think it’s a sustainable system.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  38. Here’s a question for the fiscal historians:
    At any point since the opening of the Second Congress (1791?), has the United States Government retired its’ debt (ZERO National Debt)?If so, that would be Moron Chris’ point where we “ran out of money”.
    It certainly hasn’t been since the Civil War.

    Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 4/22/2010 @ 3:31 pm

    The Continental Congress began issuing debt securities in 1776, and the United States has had outstanding debt ever since.

    The linked document is a little dated, from August of 2001. And it’s a product of the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress. But as mentioned in the comments above, the debt has not been nil at any time during the period from the date of the report until now.

    Bahrack (d4120a)

  39. (@4 Chris Hooten) Under the biggest economic cloud of the worst recession since the great depression…

    False. Curious assertion as it is so blatantly wrong. No wonder you made it without references or citations (a pattern which you repeated throughout your comment).

    …yes, Obama had no choice…

    False. He had several viable options:

    Adjust taxation policy (economic modeling)

    Cut government deficits (empirical evidence from historical records)

    Apply capitalistic principles (such are known to work)

    All kinds of things he could have done, but instead chose to raise the deficit, purchase companies and campaign for Obamacare. Worse, he chose to continue previous spending policies on a larger scale.

    …just like FDR had no choice (unless he wanted the economy to literally collapse into a free fall).

    False. Former President F. D. Roosevelt’s policies are widely held to have increased the depth and length of the depression.

    Also the point was that his letter, while humorous, is not based in fact.

    False. The point of his letter was to serve as a nearly perfect metaphor and is absolutely factual. The record-breaking deficit spending done by President Obama and the leftist leadership of the Congress is a fact and dwarfs any other Administration or Congress in the history of our Country.

    It was indeed Bush that was spending like a drunken sailor, and continued to spend after we ran out of money.

    True, which was then followed-up by even more spending on a far greater scale, which is even more inexcusable, indefensible and incompetent given hindsight of this now recognized failed policy of deficit spending.

    It appears that the leadership of President Obama and the Congress has delayed the economic recovery and sustained job losses far greater than at any time during former President Bush’s tenure. The suffering and misery of the people has gotten worse since President Obama’s election.

    That letter is a few years too late, and has the wrong name on it.I’m sorry if you don’t like the facts, but those are the facts.

    Currently, the President is Mr. Obama and the leadership of the Congress is overwhelmingly in the hands of our nations leftist politicians.

    They have not only continued Mr. Bush’s deficit spending polices, but have increased and accelerated it far beyond any scale conceived of by the Bush Administration.

    The letter is (sadly) accurate, timely and completely factual.

    Surely it would still be humorous with the more accurate name “Bush” on it, right?

    Leftist will continued to blame the previous administration even while the current administration invokes the same polices but on a larger scale. Honesty, logic and integrity are not values held in high esteem by the left.

    Critiquing Mr. Bush’s polices (as I did) had their time and place. Now we have a new President who is increasing and expanding the same flawed polices. To criticize the previous Administration, but excuse the current one is a partisan tactic and reveals a lack of honesty, logic and integrity — in short, it reveals a leftist.

    [Released from filter — DRJ]

    Pons Asinorum (09ece4)

  40. Because these incumbents don’t have to compete for reelection, they have no incentive to act in the interest of their constituents

    Which is why I sincerely hope that the Tea Partiers start vetting candidates who will support Term Limits for both houses of Congress. It’s the only way to stop the relentless gaming of the system.

    Dmac (21311c)

  41. AD- Rtr/OS!: My recollection from history was that the Civil War debt was paid off pretty quickly and we started running up surpluses for a few years therafter. The last of the surplus money was spent around the time of the Benjamin Harrison administration (1889-1892) and we’ve had a national debt of some amount ever since.

    Sean P (4fde41)

  42. Under the biggest economic cloud of the worst recession since the great depression, yes, Obama had no choice, just like FDR had no choice (unless he wanted the economy to literally collapse into a free fall).

    Was there a magical force that prevented President Obama from cutting spending?

    The following president, Obama, kept on spending money, but at no time could he have stopped before or at the moment we ran out, because we had already run out of money under Bush.

    He made it worse.

    Secret Squirrel (6a1582)

  43. This administration and Congress are spending money like drunken pirates.

    When they run out, they simply steal some more.

    GaryC (ea4bfa)

  44. Hooten, it is comical that you claim to be the person who is just plum full of facts, but you can’t cough up any. As for “who” was President when we went from surplus to deficit, that would be Bill Clinton. Clinton’s so-called surplus was an accounting gimmick for a single budget year and the budget for FY 2001, which was written and adopted during the last months of Clinton’s term was in deficit and added about $145 billion to the debt.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. Good catch there, SPQR. Hootie never did bother to wow us with his wisdom about how that imaginary surplus was calculated, or when we last had no debt, as he referred to.

    JD (9f2abc)

  46. Hooten:

    Technically, the president can’t spend money, so both Obama and Bush are off the hook.

    When the budget hit $0, as you put it, Congress was controlled by the Democrats. Bush could have vetoed the budget. You can sleep happy that he didn’t.

    Obama can veto the budget. You can sleep happy that he doesn’t.

    It’s a win-win for you. Bush gets the blame, while the Democrats spend us into oblivion.

    Besides, two “illegal” wars make any argument against proliferate spending moot. It’s a win-win-win for you.

    You’re winning so much, November should be a cake-walk.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  47. Testing …

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  48. Technically, the president can’t spend money, so both Obama and Bush are off the hook.

    X10000000

    Good lord. All these democrats love to act like it was Bill Clinton who is the champion of the weak pause in spending hikes that was also known as the Contract with America.

    I wish our problems were simple enough that I could just go Chris Hooten nuts with partisanship… every problem with Obama = “But Bush!!” and every complaint about media = “But Fox is way worse!”

    Sad to say, I’m not really hopeful that November will cure our problems. It will drastically slow down the encroachment without reversing much of it, and a lot of folks will be saying that Obama cut the 2011 budget or balanced it in the hysterical possibility that that happens.

    Even if we do pass a balanced budget, we’re in a major crisis with our liabilities and debt. Anyone playing partisan games with this doesn’t understand the severity of the problem.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  49. Is the Left still going on about “two illegal wars”?
    How many times do they have to be reminded about Congress’ action in passing, with large bi-partisan majorities, the Authorization(s) for Use of Military Force in both Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2002)?
    And they wonder why they aren’t taken seriously.

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  50. “Which is why I sincerely hope that the Tea Partiers start vetting candidates who will support Term Limits for both houses of Congress. It’s the only way to stop the relentless gaming of the system.”

    – Dmac

    See, I disagree completely with the whole term limit thing. The electoral incentive is the only thing keeping representatives from running completely amok. If you take away the necessity of reelection, these guys’ll be wheeling and dealing their way into lobbying jobs in the first six months of their term.

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  51. Comment by Leviticus — 4/22/2010 @ 8:08 pm

    Ditto.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  52. You guys say that like it is a bad thing. The more time they spend looking for their next job is just less time they can spend mucking with our lives.

    JD (9f2abc)

  53. But their value as lobbyists will be deflated with term limits. Why pay big bucks to a Congressman who can only serve 2 terms when there will be 200-400 just like him who are currently in office or recently served?

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  54. “…I’m done with this thread…” – Comment by Chris Hooten

    One can only hope. – Comment by Eric Blair

    Since this is a blog primarily of lawyers, can we make that proclamation lagally binding? I mean, really, he misdirects the attention from an enjoyable piece of humor onto an innane point, that even if valid, would best be communicated as JD did at #8 (which was my son’s favorite comment of the thread).

    18.…a sensible presentation…
    They could sprinkle coal-dust on just one foot, instead of both, to demonstrate a reduction in their “carbon footprint” (Heh!).
    – Comment by AD – RtR/OS!

    26.@16 MD in Philly.
    I suggested to another co-worker (when I found out it was Earth Day and they asked what we should do) that we just step lightly today, no stomping or running or jumping up and down. Need to treat Earth nicely…today anyway.
    – Comment by Andy

    Thanks for the suggestions…I think. 😉

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  55. AD- Rtr/OS!: My recollection from history was that the Civil War debt was paid off pretty quickly and we started running up surpluses for a few years therafter. The last of the surplus money was spent around the time of the Benjamin Harrison administration (1889-1892) and we’ve had a national debt of some amount ever since.

    Comment by Sean P — 4/22/2010 @ 5:40 pm

    That put me off my waffle, what with my recollection of the history of the US federal debt being that the US has always had a federal debt. So I refreshed my aged memory and discovered that except for a brief brush with being almost debt free, and that was during the Andy Jackson administration, the US has been in a continuous state of indebtedness.

    My quick searches on the history of the national debt turned up this (a mention of the Jackson effort to eliminate the debt) and this link which has five separate links for the periods of 1791-1849, 1850-1899, 1900-1949, 1950-1999, & 2000-till-Harry, Barry, & Nan. FWIW…

    Bahrack (d4120a)

  56. Try this for proof of a surplus. (from the Heritage Foundation, Feb 7, 2001) They seemed pretty convinced, along with Greenspan, that there was an actual surplus. It represented the difference between what was spent, and what was taken in by the government. Clinton wanted to actually pay off the debt (something Greenspan did not agree with), Bush decided to give away lush, top-heavy tax cuts instead, something Greenspan supported. But now, 8-9 years later, people want to use the rising debt as proof that there was no surplus. Officially there was a surplus that Bush spent, and then some. You can believe whatever unofficial parsing of the budget that you want, but only the budget itself is the official determinant of whether there was a surplus or not, and it says that there was one.

    Also, the same accounting methods you all are claiming were misused to create this surplus were also used to measure Bush’s deficit. You are really arguing that the official documentation is inaccurate *because you say so*, and are trying to move the goalposts to make it appear that there was no surplus. There was, indeed, a surplus in the official budget. You are claiming the official budget was inaccurate, nonetheless it is the official budget, and it had a surplus.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  57. That was a projected surplus. Your timeline where Bush gave away tax cuts to the rich ignores more about economics than most could begin to even describe to you. You continue to ignore things like the irrational exuberance that led to the dot com bubble bursting, which led to the economy being in a recession when Bush took office. You neglect to mention the economic impact of 9/11. Officially, there was a surplus that Bush spent? Really? Proof please? Because it was shown above that the last Clinton budget was in deficit, which was prior to Bush taking office. The same people that were forecasting surpluses tell us that BarckyCare is going to be deficit neutral. What proof did you offer other than *because you say so* you megalomaniac?

    Never mind. I am going to resume trying to teach Mandarin Chinese to my dining room table, my odds of success are greatly higher than getting an honest discussion from you.

    JD (9f2abc)

  58. 54.“…I’m done with this thread…” – Comment by Chris Hooten

    One can only hope. – Comment by Eric Blair

    Since this is a blog primarily of lawyers, can we make that proclamation lagally binding?

    Not fast enough.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  59. JD’s right… a projection of a surplus in a year that was nearly a decade ago is not proof of a surplus. That year really happened and no projection is needed. There hasn’t been a surplus in a long time.

    In other projection news, the HHS is already admitting that the CBO’s analysis of Obamacare was wildly wildly bullfeatherst. It will make health care more expensive and increase the deficit massively.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  60. See, Dustin. We do not always disagree 😉

    JD (9f2abc)

  61. Hooten:

    OK. What about now.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  62. Try this for proof of a surplus. (from the Heritage Foundation, Feb 7, 2001) They seemed pretty convinced, along with Greenspan, that there was an actual surplus.

    Perhaps the fact that Clinton faced a Republican-controlled Congress during many of his years in office made even the right-leaning Heritage Foundation weak in the knees. However, one argument you’ll never ever hear from me is that George Bush Jr and his Republican-dominated Congress were not deserving of criticism for playing the game of bringing-home-the-bacon, spendthrift budgeting.

    craigsteiner.us/articles/30, The Myth of the Clinton Surplus, November 23, 2008

    Ever since I wrote an article that demonstrated that President Clinton never had a surplus, people have been skeptical. After all, Clinton’s alleged surpluses have been accepted by the media and repeated so much that it’s taken as gospel truth.

    The claim is made that in Fiscal Year 2000, President Clinton ran a budget surplus of $236 billion. My previous article demonstrates that far from a surplus, the government had to increase the national debt by $18 billion. How can you claim a surplus when you have to borrow more money?

    …If in a given year you earn $30,000 and a friend loans you $5,000, and you spend $32,000, is that a surplus? While you can claim “I received $35,000 and only spent $32,000, thus I have a surplus,” that’s a pretty weak argument when you know that $2,000 of the money you spent was actually borrowed and has to be paid back later. That’s pretty much what happened in 2000.

    An article at Factcheck is often used to respond to my original article. The article cites Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers that cite an on-budget surplus of $87.2 billion and an off-budget (Social Security) surplus of $149.8 billion. The Factcheck article says: “But even if we remove Social Security from the equation, there was a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and $86.4 billion in fiscal 2000.”

    The above Factcheck statement acknowledges the fact that Social Security trust fund surpluses really don’t have anything to do with the president’s budget, nor can they really be considered part of a surplus since they’ll have to be paid back to Social Security later. So they argue that even if you don’t count the $149.8 billion Social Security surplus, President Clinton was still responsible for an “on-budget” surplus of $86.4 billion (actually the numbers are $87.2 billion on-budget and $149.8 billion off-budget/Social Security according to to table 2 of the MTS; I’m not sure where Factcheck got its numbers… but their numbers are close enough).

    What Factcheck does not mention, however, is that while Social Security is the only off-budget trust fund, it’s not the only trust fund. Just as surpluses caused by Social Security should not be considered a real surplus caused by a president’s budget, nor should surpluses caused by other trust funds be considered.

    The following table shows the major trust funds that contributed to surpluses in 2000. These numbers come from Table 6 Schedule D of the MTS for September 2000 . That table contains a complete list of all the trust funds and government accounts that contributed to the “surplus” due to their excess funds.

    TRUST FUND SURPLUSES IN 2000 (table 6 schedule D)
    Social Security $152.3 billion
    Civil Service Retirement Fund $30.9 billion
    Federal supplementary medical insurance Trust fund $18.5 billion
    Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund $15.0 billion
    Unemployment Trust Fund $9.0 billion
    Military Retirement Fund $8.2 billion
    Transportation Trust Funds $3.8 billion
    Employee life insurance & retirement $1.8 billion
    Other $7.0 billion

    TOTAL $246.5 billion

    As can be seen from Table 6 Schedule D of the Treasury Department’s MTS, all the government’s trust funds contributed a total of $246.5 billion to the “surplus.” That is extra money that was contributed to trust funds for the specific trust fund purposes, not as taxes, and is $246.5 billion that the U.S. government now owes to those trust funds and will have to pay back in the future. And although the government took in that extra $246.5 billion in non-tax revenue from those trust funds, the MTS indicates it only reduced the public debt by $223 billion. That’s why even with all the excess money coming in from the trust funds, the national debt went up. The government received extra money from trust funds but didn’t use all of it to reduce the public debt. Some of it was used on normal government spending during 2000.

    If all of the extra money coming from trust funds had been used to pay down the national debt, intragovernmental debt would have increased by $248.7 billion and the public debt would’ve decreased by the same amount–and it would have resulted in no change to the total national debt from 1999 to 2000; that would have arguably been balanced government spending (though not a surplus).

    Instead, the government received $248.7 billion in extra trust fund income but only spent $230.8 billion of that on reducing the public debt. The remaining $17.9 billion was spent and represents, as indicated in my original article, a deficit.

    I believe the underlying confusion comes from the fact that the government produces financial reports that differentiate between “on-budget” and “off-budget” spending. People (including Factcheck, apparently) then mistakenly believe that “off-budget” represents all the government income that “doesn’t count” and isn’t controlled by a president’s budget while “on-budget” represents all the government income that does count and is controlled by the president’s budget.

    The reality, though, is that that’s not the case. As shown above, most trust funds are “on-budget” even though they generate revenue that the government literally has to borrow in order to use. The government is actually borrowing money from trust funds and then reporting that borrowed money as income!

    The bottom line is that there was never a real surplus. As I said in my original article, Clinton’s best year still represented a $17.9 billion deficit. Only by using misunderstood government accounting that doesn’t clearly disclose trust fund income can one presume to claim there was a surplus.

    Mark (411533)

  63. The only data that matters is that from the Treasury denoting the amount of the National Debt on the beginning of each Fiscal Year (01 October).
    If the Debt is larger than the previous year, there was a deficit; if it is less than the previous year, there was a surplus.
    That is the only definitive data!

    AD - RtR/OS! (898e6a)

  64. No matter what you say, the official budget had a surplus. Now if you can manage to convince them to change the official budget from ten years ago, you might have a leg to stand on, but you are asking me to ignore the official documents, and instead take some person’s hair-brained parsing of the official budget. Just because that person told you there was no surplus does not mean it is true. It is solely defined by the budgets themselves, and they say that there was a surplus.

    The article I linked to above is extrapolating the then current surplus over ten years. In other words, they (The Heritage Foundation) were saying that there was a surplus, and if those policies had been continued for 10 years, we could have paid on the debt, and we would have paid off the debt + 389 billion extra by 2006, and by 2011 we would still have no debt + 2.9 trillion in extra money. If there was no surplus to begin with, how can continuing the same policies make a surplus that grows and grows and grows? The surplus is the difference between what is taken in, and what is spent.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  65. No matter what you say …

    So, you are not here to have a rational civil discussion. You are here to make assertions, and your offer of proof is *because you say so*.

    I asked you way earlier if you had any idea as to how this imaginary “surplus” was calculated. Mark went to the trouble of actually answering that question for you, because it was readily apparent that you either did/do not know, or chose to ignore it. I was hoping you just did not know, but given your position of “no matter what you say…”, the latter is obviously the case.

    JD (9f2abc)

  66. Who are you going to believe: your lying reality or some politician’s projections about the past?

    What’s sooooooooooooo silly about this is that it is sooooooooooooo besides the point.

    Bill Clinton was not the House of Representatives.

    We already know that Bush* was spending too much and it’s silly to say that he forced Obama to massively increase that spending level in ways that are manifestly damaging our economy. And if the point is that Obama* is spending more than the economic climate demands, it’s not much of an answer to note that lower spending levels were too high, or that they somehow forced this present spending level via some strange magical property of ‘running out of money’.

    A lot of democrats run around trying to take credit for something that didn’t occur and has nothing to do with the current problem.

    But I hope these folks realize it really doesn’t matter if Bush really planned 9/11 and set Ft Knox on fire: we’re still spending too much money today at a rate that’s obviously disastrous.

    Want to quote Brookings and Heritage on that? There is a ton of consensus that we need to cut way back on spending, and Obama* is spending 3 trillion every decade on Obamacare (once fully implemented, and if assuming lots of Obamacare favorable attributes already being debunked).

    There’s no excuse for Obama*. He* could spend a ton less. That’s more important than bashing Bush*.

    *I guess the President serves as proxy for the House and Senate since he didn’t veto and is currently of the same party?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  67. The budget defines the surplus. The surplus is defined as the difference between what revenue is taken in, and what is spent. I think your disagreement is with the official budget, and not me. It is kind of like you saying that the word “gullible” is not really a word, despite the fact it is in the dictionary, because the people that wrote the dictionary were wrong when they put it there.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  68. Shorter Chris – I don’t want to understand what you are saying.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  69. Actually, Chris, I’m pretty sure the dictionary doesn’t define budget the way you think it does. Some words can be limited or expanded, and budget is obviously one of those.

    I have a budget too. And sometimes I break it. Don’t you? And sometimes my projections about how much I’ll take in or spend are wrong. Politicians lied about the official budget. We don’t need to refer to that right now because we can look at a very obvious sort of proof. And we did repeatedly. There’s no sense in arguing that we had a surplus when it’s been shown we lost money that year. Frankly, it’s ugly for you to refuse to argue in good faith on this particular little and irrelevant point.

    And the word gullible certainly is not in the dictionary.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  70. The end point is that the surplus, as defined by the official budget, was spent under the Bush administration, and deficit spending was continued until all of the surplus was eaten up, and then he spent more. In other words, under Bush, we deficit spent like a drunken sailor until we ran out of surplus, and then continued to deficit spend beyond that. Thus proving my original point. Arguing that the official budget is flawed, and therefore there was no surplus is ludicrous.

    Official budget = official fact
    Someone’s analysis 10 years later = unofficial conjecture.

    at least until they change the official budget.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  71. No matter what you say, the official budget had a surplus.

    Okay, I’ll buy that line. But it’s dependent on also saying it was predicated on a liberal-controlled White House facing a conservative-controlled Congress. Therefore, for those people of the left who truly are happy about the idea of the federal government running surpluses (under the reign of wonderful, noble Bill Clinton!), they should do everything possible to see that Congress is again turned over to the Republican Party ASAP.

    Meanwhile, I won’t say anything about the rather unique and peculiar nature of the go-go-crazed, Internet bubble of the late 1990s, and the way that affected everything, including government budgets.

    Mark (411533)

  72. “The end point is that the surplus, as defined by the official budget”

    Chris – At least get the facts straight – it was a PROJECTED surplus, not a real one.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  73. The point of the thread is that we are currently spending more than we need to. Chris’s point is supposed to explain why we need to spend this much, and it’s all Bush’s fault for something he did in 2001 (among other things he did in 2001 IYKWISAITYD).

    That argument is rejected. No one seriously thinks we are not spending too much right now. You wanna blame Bush, then I don’t mind. He spent too much too. But Obama needs to be kicked out of office in 2012, and the dems from the House ASAP, because they are so irresponsible with the nation’s finances.

    Chris likes to say ‘but they are way worse’. About Tea Parties, about Fox News, about O’Keefe. Well, the nation being so unsustainable in its spending is more important than those issues, and Chris should be familiar with the argument ‘but they are way worse’ when we say that in reply to his comments about Bush being the worst president ever.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  74. They were extrapolating a REAL surplus, however. The surplus is calculated year to year. In order to make the statement that continuation of the current policies would keep increasing the surplus, there would have to be a surplus created in the very first year that they are extrapolating from. Like this:

    year2 + year3 + year4 = 300 billion dollars (made up number)

    The same budget policy from year1 was used for year2, year3 and year4. Since the surplus is the difference between what is taken in, and what is spent, year1 HAD to have a surplus, in order for year2, year3, and year4 to all have surpluses and be able to be added together into a projected surplus, due to the fact that they had to use actual information from year1 to make their future projections.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  75. Dustin, That was not my point. My point was that the poor misinformed former drunken sailor did not have his facts straight about who was in charge when we continued to spend more than we were taking in, eventually spending away the surplus. At that point we could have changed the policies so that we would only spend what we took in, i.e. “stop spending when we ran out of money” But instead they kept on “spending like a drunken sailor,” going into deep deficits. To address what you *think* my point was: Maybe if they hadn’t done that, we would be in better shape than we are now that the economy has tanked, forcing more deficit spending. Maybe it would be “surplus spending” instead.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  76. Chris Hooten – even for a patent troll, you just *cannot* be so disingenuously clueless as you purport to be …

    To quote a report that Clinton’s budget in year X proves a surplus *completely* ignores the FACT that a President’s Budget merely proposes ideas … Congress decides what the Federal Budget will be …

    As CBO figures show, the Budgets put out by Congress with the Contract with America did indeed help to shrink the annual federal budget deficit …

    There was a blip during the Clinton Bush transition, which was subsequently compounded by 9/11 … after a couple more years, the federal budget deficit was again decreasing perceptibly until Congress changed hands and the Federal Budgets then were created by the Democrat-controlled House and Senate … and during the Bush-with-Congress-run-by-Pelosi/Reid, the federal budget deficits started rising – and rising – and rising – and have kept on rising since Obama took over the White House from Bush …

    THINK before you type …

    If any of my comment is unclear to you, ASK ! There are many on here who can explain how the Federal Budget *actually* works … and, so far, you ain’t one of ’em …

    Alasdair (205079)

  77. “My point was that the poor misinformed former drunken sailor did not have his facts straight about who was in charge when we continued to spend more than we were taking in, eventually spending away the surplus”

    Public education, I’m sure.

    But your point isn’t really that, now is it? Your point is that it’s Bush’s fault. I would provide a link this this thread to back me up on this, but I met my obnoxiousness quota earlier.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  78. Yeah, because I have clearly not been thinking before I type (rolls eyes). So you are agreeing that there was a surplus at the end of Clinton’s presidency, thusly proving my original point about the drunken sailor?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  79. My point was that the poor misinformed former drunken sailor did not have his facts straight about who was in charge when we continued to spend more than we were taking in,

    If you’re referring to the author of the letter published in the Wyoming newspaper, he’s not talking about the past. He’s talking about TODAY, now, 2010.

    More tellingly, if you’re so respectful and admiring of surpluses (real or imagined) associated with a White House you have a soft spot in your heart for (ie, the Clinton clan), you look like a big phony and fool if you’re still giving a lot of leeway to a White House (although one even further to the left) associated not with surpluses but instead with soaring deficits.

    As for me, I’m willing to gripe about Bush being a pushover when it came to bloated budgets. Therefore, I’m far, far willing to gripe about the ultra-spenthrift behavior of the current occupant of the Oval Office.

    Mark (411533)

  80. I love how everyone attributes insidious intent to all of my comments. I’m such a sneaky bast*rd, apparently.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  81. “So you are agreeing that there was a surplus at the end of Clinton’s presidency, thusly proving my original point about the drunken sailor?

    Comment by Chris Hooten”

    Oh, absolutely. Clearly that’s implicit and even somehow related to my comment, and the fact that we lost money that year doesn’t change the fact that we had a surplus.

    You win this round!

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  82. Chris Hooten #78 – as far as I (and those at this blog who continue to merit my respect) can tell, this country has not had a surplus in terms of not owing anybody anything since its inception …

    In terms of an annual federal budget surplus, I am not sure if the GOP Congress’s Federal Budget at the end of Clinton’s second term was actually in surplus – if it was, it is thanks to the GOP Congress who came up with it, and *not* to the Democrat President who didn’t veto it …

    The “spending like a drunken sailor” that has gone on for over the past 2 years is squarely attributable to those who controlled House and Senate during that period … and that was Obama/Pelosi/Reid – Pelosi/Reid as the leaders of their respective Houses of Congress, and Obama as part of the Senate during part of that period … again, if the last Budget was Obama’s, that is only because Pelosi and Reid decided to accept it that way …

    And I doubt that even Obama is dumb enough to want to claim responsibility/culpability for the past year’s Budget … it’s sure not anything of which to be proud !

    Alasdair (205079)

  83. *yawn* You are still trying to tell me what I was trying to tell you, instead of listening to what I am saying. I made a comment at the very start, and was immediately attacked for not knowing what I was talking about, there wasn’t a real surplus, show us some proof, yada yada yada. I have proved that there was, indeed, a real annual federal budget surplus at the end of Clinton’s presidency. I even showed how the right oriented Heritage Foundation used that surplus as a basis for a ten year extrapolation of a huge surplus (Which they were using to argue for tax breaks instead of paying off the debt). Obviously if there was a surplus, we spent it under Bush with deficit spending, and then some. So we started spending money we didn’t have once the surplus was exhausted by the deficit spending. So, circling back to the original letter to the editor, it would have been far more accurate to say that it was Bush that was president when we ran out of money, but kept spending it anyways. That was my point. Point is made. All these other extraneous arguments were never part of mine. You (collective “you”) want to say that it was a republican congress and not Clinton that passed it, fine. Take that issue up with the drunken sailor, who thought that Obama and Bush made the budgets. You want to say that the official budget is inaccurate, and wrongly suggests a surplus? Fine, take that up with the official budget, it says there was a surplus. You can’t just believe any old yahoo’s opinion that there was no surplus just because you would like it to be true. When he is convincing enough to enough people to have a 10 year old document modified to reflect his line of thinking, you might have a point, and then could take issue with me.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  84. Dustin, that comment was for Aladair (my comment beginning, “So you are agreeing that there was a surplus at the end of Clinton’s presidency…”) And now it has mysteriously disappeared. I didn’t think I did anything to get it spammified. Don’t worry, I’m sure it was just a little glitch in the system. There have been few different ones recently. It will probably pop back up later.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  85. Dustin, If (through the link to the picture)you are asking me if I think that they are actually going to change a 10 year old official document based on that guys conjecture, no, I think hell would freeze over first.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  86. Tenacity only wins out over reality when you attack those that are weak of mind. That tactic will not succeed here within this thread, or anywhere on this site.

    Your “point”, that we were already ‘in the red’ as far as annual budgets go, when the Obama administration sent its first budget proposal to Congress, is simply a lame argument of semantics. Yes, the money had already run out; all the more reason to NOT spend more than the income derived from the sailor’s next paycheck, received courtesy of the IRS.

    If you agree that deficit spending is bad, then why are you wasting so much time effort & energy in this pathetic attempt to redirect the argument? Conservatives here are AGREEING that the deficits tallied by the previous administration were bad.
    Can you not agree that the increased deficits of those currently in office are just as bad, if not — by simple math alone — worse?

    Icy Texan (2d6ef1)

  87. FWIW, I am going to address the ongoing discord between Mr. Hooten and others, and will copy this to the other thread.

    The point of this post was the humor of the formerly drunken sailor complaining about his reputation being sullied by comparisons to Obama. He points out that at least when he ran out of money he didn’t continue spending. Most of us saw that as funny, making the real time reference to the historically unprecedented deficit spending under Obama.

    To a large extent, whether deficit spending “returned” under Bush or not is beside the point. Rather than being content to see the humor in the comment, you turn it into an opportunity for debate, and a debate that which doesn’t make a lot of difference right now even if you are 100% correct.

    Most of us see your comment as purposefully annoying. The response to you that I liked best was JD’s, “Someone once pointed out that if Bush spent like a drunken sailor, then Obama is spending like the Spanish Armada on crack.”

    Now, perhaps you did not mean your comment to be annoying. Perhaps you are overly compulsive about what you consider to be the facts, or you deal with ADD or another brain “hard wiring” issue that makes interpreting social cues unusually difficult. Then again, maybe you just made the comment to irritate because you couldn’t simply enjoy the humor of it.

    To the degree that you persist in your version of the facts, some decide to ignore you, others are inclined to demonstrate your claims are wrong, and others point out that even if you are right, that is no defense for the degree of deficit spending we are now encountering.

    So, what was meant as an enjoyable post has become a debate on whether FDR-like spending and beyond in a time of recession is a good thing or not. That is far, far away from the original intent of the post.

    That is why people are annoyed with you. It seems at times that you go out of your way to be contrary, even when you claim to agree.

    Now, others may agree or disagree with my thoughts here, but this is why I will try to ignore your posts.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  88. …If in a given year you earn $30,000 and a friend loans you $5,000, and you spend $32,000, is that a surplus? While you can claim “I received $35,000 and only spent $32,000, thus I have a surplus,” that’s a pretty weak argument when you know that $2,000 of the money you spent was actually borrowed and has to be paid back later. That’s pretty much what happened in 2000.

    along with

    The only data that matters is that from the Treasury denoting the amount of the National Debt on the beginning of each Fiscal Year (01 October).
    If the Debt is larger than the previous year, there was a deficit; if it is less than the previous year, there was a surplus.
    That is the only definitive data!

    Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 4/22/2010 @ 10:26 pm

    is all a person needs to understand, after a review of the figures in the rightmost column here and here, that the proverbial drunken sailor is not, nor ever has been, in the same fiscal or behavioral universe as our Congress.

    Having been a drunken sailor at one time, long ago, I can assure everyone that the stories of the spending habits of drunken sailors are mostly exaggerated.

    Bahrack (d4120a)

  89. Did Chris Hooten ever explain the difference between a projected surplus and an actual surplus, or link to something that shows we ended a fiscal year in surplus. It should be easy to show that the national debt was decreased due to a budget surplus. Did Chris ever address that much of the claimed and imaginary “surplus” was due to government borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund, and various other government trust funds, thus making the “surplus” even more imaginary. It reminds me of the claim that GM paid back its government loans early, by borrowing more money from the government.

    Sophists are. And Chris is.

    Thanks, MD. I wish I could claim credit for that one. But I will gladly borrow it, and encourage everyone to do so. It is … illustrative.

    JD (b537f4)

  90. Hooten, you obviously did not read the document that I linked to, which had a year by year chart by administration. If you had, you would not have written the many false statements that followed my comment #44. Clinton’s so-called surplus was a single year, and Clinton’s last budget year was not in surplus. Those are the facts. Not your misrepresentations.

    This remains hilarious, Hooten, you like to pretend that you are the only one with a command of fact. But you simply fail.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  91. SPQR – Facts are not his strong suit. *Because he says so* is his preferred method of debate.

    JD (b537f4)

  92. “Obviously if there was a surplus, we spent it under Bush with deficit spending, and then some.”

    Chris – Obviously one of the major problems with a projected surplus turning into a realized surplus is with the assumptions used to generate that projected surplus not changing with the passage of time.

    While you are laser focused on Bush’s tax cuts and spending as impacting the projected surplus, what you fail to recognize is the impact of the economy tipping into recession at the beginning of Bush’s term on the projected surplus as well as the impact of 9/11 on the economy and budget. Bush’s tax cuts did ultimately stimulate the economy and result in significantly higher tax collections and smaller deficits as his administration progressed. His budget deficits peaked in 2004, I believe. You can even look it up.

    Don’t cherry pick the influences on projected budget surpluses or deficits. It is intellectually dishonest.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  93. You have to have a real surplus to base any projection on. You cannot take a 0$ surplus or a deficit, and then project it over 10 years into a surplus. Because then you would still have either a $0 surplus, or an increasing deficit. This was the freakin’ Heritage Foundation. I thought you would at least take a document from them, sheesh. Maybe that one guy has an argument about the way the surplus was represented in the budget, and maybe he doesn’t. Officially though, there was definitely a surplus, and all the parsing of the budget in the world won’t change that until it is reflected in the official documents. The national debt is a separate issue.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  94. You have to have a real surplus to base any projection on.

    This might be the silliest of all of the silly points you have tried to make. Do you even have the slightest idea how those projections are made? Hint, it is based on a set of assumptions, not some static if we have a $5 surplus in Year 1 we will have a $50 surplus in Year 10.

    You never have addressed the myriad of questions posed to you, as you prefer to cough out the same unsupported opinion as fact *because you say so*. Shocka that people treat you the way they do.

    JD (9f2abc)

  95. No, Hooten, the national debt is not a separate issue. If the budget claims to be in surplus, but the national debt – a hard number without any ability to be manipulated – goes up at the end of the fiscal year, one knows that the surplus was a fraud.

    This would seem to be obvious to anyone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  96. Soneone who is sentient, anyway.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  97. The official budget documents are fact, not opinion. As far as the Heritage projection, any projection must be based on actual data being plugged into the equation at the start. There is some variability, but to project an ever increasing surplus, you have to have a fairly hefty one to begin with. That is the real data that you have to have in order to produce a projection based on policies not being changed. The projection is inherently flawed, of course. But the surplus that it is based on is not, and is real, and is in the official documents. Is there some document from the Heritage foundation suggesting there was NOT a surplus after Clinton? Here is another link from the Heritage foundation. If you look at the graph, there is definitely a surplus there on the left. This is from Feb, 2010. Do you still not think there was a surplus?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  98. Hooten, do you actually have a clue as to how Congress spends money?
    First, there is a Budget Bill, which is the wish list.
    Then, there are the Authorization Bills, which authorize a Department/Agency/Bureau/etc to engage in a program.
    Finally, there are the Appropriation Bills, by which Congress allows those Departments/Agencies/Bureaus/etc to actually dip into the Treasury for funds and spend those funds on the specified program.
    Did you not ever wonder why the Budget Bill isn’t subject to “extended debate” in the Senate?
    It is because in the larger scheme of things, the Budget Bill is meaningless…All that matters are appropriations. That is where the money is, and that is where the lobbiests concentrate their fire, and campaign contributions.

    Why don’t you crack a book sometime, learn something, and grow up!

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  99. but to project an ever increasing surplus, you have to have a fairly hefty one to begin with

    No, you do not. No matter how many times you assert that. All of the projected “surpluses” were based on assumptions on ongoing economic growth that never materialized due to the dot com burst and subsequent recession that was in place when Bush took office. What a tiresome bore you are.

    Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that this imaginary surplus actually existed. In order to do so, you also have to acknowledge that in order to arrive at that alleged surplus, that government borrowed an amount larger than the surplus from the various government trust funds, essentially from itself.

    Would you still call that a surplus?

    Let’s put it in an even simpler scenario. At the end of a month, you are running short on money. Rather than cut back on spending, you write a check to yourself, cash it, and then pretend that is extra income, despite the fact that you will be called upon to pay it back. Would you still claim to have a surplus?

    Oh, and the reason why people treat you like a POS is self-evident in this thread. Numerous people have made specific, fact-based arguments directed to you, which you either ignore or breezily dismiss *because you say so*.

    JD (9f2abc)

  100. Well look at that graph at the link I gave above, then, and tell me it doesn’t show a surplus at the left. At this point I think you are completely unable to allow yourself to see the truth. It is right there in that graph from The Heritage Foundation. It is a graph of deficits, and on the left they go UP and not DOWN. That is called a budget SURPLUS. It is defined as the difference between what is taken in, and what is spent. That is not my definition, that is THE definition of a federal budget surplus/deficit. That graph was produced THIS YEAR. So at least the Heritage Foundation thinks that there was a budget surplus at the beginning of Bush’s presidency, left over from when Clinton was president. Maybe you would be more successful in convincing me, if you went over there and convinced them first, since they are a very right-leaning organization that would absolutely say there was no surplus if they could. But they can’t, so they don’t. Where do I need to get information that would satisfy you? Or are you unable to accept anything that is in opposition to what you have already decided is the truth?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  101. Or, alternatively, get some valid proof of what you are asserting. I have made my case quite well. Thank you.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  102. Heritage Foundation does not get to determine if there was an imaginary surplus. So, did that count all of the borrowing from the government trust funds, amounts that exceeded your alleged surplus?

    So, you have essentially admitted that you are either unwilling or unable to answer the direct questions posed of you.

    The idea that I am the closed minded one here is remarkable, when the extent of your argument is that the Heritage Foundation made a GRAPH ! You have ignored every f&cking point made, every refutation of your asspulls, and ignored every question directed at you. If anyone ever wanted to see the textbook definition of arguing by assertion, you have mastered.

    You have made your case quite well? Are you freaking delusional? The extent of your case is *because you said so*.

    Watch him whine about people not being civil now.

    JD (9f2abc)

  103. You are right, The Heritage Foundation cannot determine if there was a surplus, that is determined by the budgets that they used to make the graph from. The official budgets. You haven’t proved anything, other than you have been misinformed by someone, and are unable, or unwilling to see that. I have given you a plethora of evidence of something that really isn’t debatable. The facts will always be on my side on this issue. You are arguing against official federal budgets, and the Heritage Foundation, and just about every other source of information based on facts. Apparently it is impossible to show you that you have been misinformed, which explains a lot. MISINFORMED. The ice you keep going out on gets thinner, and thinner, and thinner…

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  104. A plethora of evidence? How does your dictionary define plethora and evidence? Misinformed? Really. The same “official” documents that you claim to have used, did they show all of the borrowing from the social security trust fund, and the other various trust funds? Did they show the projections that the irrational exuberance prior to the dot com bubble bursting would continue well into the future? You have not demonstrated any facts. You have asserted them, and when called on it, relied on a graph and *because you say so*.

    Again, your unwillingness or inability to address specific questions posed to you about your position shows the utter lack of good faith you bring to this discussion. The idea that you just wish to debate, and your haughty I am above the fray and you are all just meanies attitude is tiresome, at best.

    And, in the end, all you are trying to do is distract attention away from the orgy of spending you and your fellow travelers have been on since really 2006, when the Dems took control of the budgets. It is classic LOOK! BUNNIES! and it is what you have done in nearly every thread, be it pointing at Fox, or O’keefe, or imaginary surpluses … it is what you do.

    JD (9f2abc)

  105. I have not demonstrated any facts? Are you serious? I guess along with determining the value of someone’s comments based on a moniker you have assigned them, now you get to determine what is facts, and what isn’t? THERE IS NO MORE OF AN OFFICIAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION ON THIS THAN THE BUDGETS THEMSELVES. You don’t just get to wave your magic hand, and make those suddenly become irrelevant. They are what people rely on to determine a surplus/deficit. Not just me, but everybody uses them, because they are the actual documents that determine it. There is no higher source of truth on the matter that you can go to. Just because you don’t like what they say, or have issues with how they were calculated, does not mean that they aren’t STILL the top-dog end-all be-all determinant of whether there was a surplus or not. Unless they change them, I WIN THIS ROUND. Sorry.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  106. For goodness sake, doesn’t anyone here know how the hell the federal budget surplus is determined? Holy crap! How much other misinformation is floating around here like a smoggy black cloud.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  107. Then please link for us a Federal budget that shows we ended that fiscal year with an actual surplus. Not a projected surplus when the budget was passed. An actual surplus. You do realize that those 2 items occur on opposite ends of the fiscal year, no? Then, while you are providing us with that information, please show us the amount of money borrowed from the multiple government trust funds that should be included as debts instead of revenue.

    I love it when dishonest interlocutors declare victory based on their own word.

    But this thread is illustrative of the lack of good faith this one brings to the table.

    JD (9f2abc)

  108. I’m not wasting anymore time on you. If you want to be ignorant, fine. Just don’t be surprised when it bites you on your a$$. This is a never ending merry-go-round of I prove it to you, then you claim it doesn’t prove anything, then I prove it another way, and you still claim that, etc. You are fighting against reality. It WILL win in the end.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  109. You asked what it would take, and I told you. You are not showing same because it does not exist, or will confirm what others have told you. Stick your head in the sand. Run away. Tell everyone how mean we were to you.

    JD (9f2abc)

  110. JD, that isn’t why the fellow posts. This is the game. Remember, the trick is make a provocative statement, then when questioned about the declarative comment, insist that the other person scurry around to prove it wrong.

    Now, I don’t know if this fellow is a troll, but that is what trolls tend to do.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  111. Oh, this fellow is. No doubt about it. Textbook.

    JD (9f2abc)

  112. here, this from congressional budget office:
    link

    That’s a PDF file.
    notice the “total” line, and where it becomes positive, instead of negative. Also notice that the debt went DOWN in 1998 and 1999 since we made payments on it. It is called “Historical Budget Data” and shows data from the last 40 years. Oh, but I am sure that isn’t good enough either. Give it up, JD. All the cards are in my hand. I can do this forever, because there is an unlimited supply of accurate information on this issue. So far you haven’t proven a damn thing.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  113. Funny part. This guy keeps saying he is done. And yet here he is.

    It’s like that old Weeble toy.

    “…I can do this forever…” and “…all the cards are in my hand…” kind of gives away the game.

    Have fun, folks!

    But Patterico likes him, so there you go.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  114. Now, where in that document does it show how much money was borrowed from the Social Security trust funds, and the various other government trust funds? If all the cards are in your hand, this should be really really really simple.

    I just love your debating style. I WIN. STFU YOU MISINFORMED LOSER !!!! GIVE UP !!!!!!!!

    JD (9f2abc)

  115. I am going to go to bed. I will check back in tomorrow to see if Crissy has learned anything, or is still acting the fool. Or maybe he is not acting. Either way, goodnight, Eric.

    JD (9f2abc)

  116. He isn’t a fool, JD. This is a tactic. I could be wrong, of course.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  117. Why would that document say any of those things? That is the historical deficit/surplus data. It shows the FACTS. What you are arguing is CONJECTURE. You are trying to claim that the FACTS aren’t really FACTS. But unfortunately, that has already been decided by a lot of smarter people than you or me, and it is recorded in that document. I swear getting you to acknowledge long-accepted facts is like trying to fly a helicopter through the eye of a needle. These facts were true 10 years ago, and they are still true today.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  118. Chris Hooten:

    Less bluster, more taking into account the raiding of the Social Security trust fund.

    In other words, try listening to people. This is what JD has been saying.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  119. You might want to examine that PDF a little more closely, too. What info did you want that wasn’t contained there?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  120. I admire your efforts, Patterico. I am pretty cynical about this fellow, but you may be correct. I would assume you are a better judge of character than I am, after all.

    But yes, when things go “all caps,” it’s a worrisome sign.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  121. You might want to examine MY link more closely. As in, some.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  122. What you are arguing is CONJECTURE.

    And your desire to portray the federal budget so lovingly and positively during years when a Democrat/liberal was in the White House isn’t in itself an off-shoot of conjecture?

    Mark (411533)

  123. The only “trick” I am trying to do here, is to show you that you have been misinformed on this issue. Despite the fact that all evidence points to the contrary, you still insist that there was no surplus based on the conjecture of some yahoo. There is a lot of misinformation swirling around, due to sources like freedomworks and Breitbart, and Fox News. They love to ignore official sources of information, and make up there own facts, and/or present them in a grossly misleading manner. This leads to people like this running around absolutely SURE that there was no federal budget surplus under Clinton, which is an absolutely ridiculous claim if you do some research. I don’t even think JD took the time to look at ANY of my evidence AT ALL. Head in the sand. Head in the sand. Keep your head in the sand!

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  124. I don’t know who misinformed you, by the way. Certainly that ding-dong’s analysis did.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  125. Head in the sand.

    It’s going to be hilarious — and very telling — in upcoming years when you try dealing with the budgets associated with Bill Clinton’s Democrat-Party successor.

    Mark (411533)

  126. Patterico, are you seriously asking me to take that guys word over the congressional budget office, The Heritage Foundation, and just about every other source of this information? Come on.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  127. So, Patterico, I don’t mean to rattle a troll’s cage. But honestly, you have to admit that this is hilariously non-self aware:

    They love to ignore official sources of information, and make up there own facts, and/or present them in a grossly misleading manner.

    Not to mention highly ironic.

    Also, this character keeps saying he is done, and he keeps coming back, angry and insulting (while complaining about name calling and insults).

    How are these things not typically troll-like?

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  128. Nobody seems to understand who gets to define what the surplus is. It isn’t that guy. If you want to argue with the Congressional Budget Office, go ahead, but it trumps that guy’s analysis as proof of whether there was a surplus or not. Maybe, some day, it may become the commonly accepted truth, but as of now, it is not.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  129. How can we miss you if you don’t go away?

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  130. Oh, and one more thing. You are making quite the splash here tonight, with lots of the insults and name-calling you claim to abhor, as well as the childish “all caps” shouting. Again, I think you are a troll, CH. You are starting to pick fights, and clearly gearing up to do so with Patterico. I think you want someone to ban you, so you can go whine about being banned.

    I could be wrong, sure. But I notice you seem to feel you never are wrong. And that says something about you.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  131. His persistence wouldn’t be such a joke — or quite suspicious (but in a humorous way–because he’s so transparent) — if one could be absolutely certain he’d be no less adament arguing about the validity of figures associated with a Republican/conservative occupant of the White House.

    Mark (411533)

  132. Chris – I’m not sure I understand your point. Could you make it another dozen or so times and ignore counterarguments please?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  133. Patterico, are you seriously asking me to take that guys word over the congressional budget office, The Heritage Foundation, and just about every other source of this information? Come on.

    Unlike you, I’m not arguing from authority, but from reason and logic. Your sources of data do not take into account the raiding of the Social Security trust fund — a concept I suspect you don’t understand to begin with.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  134. the CBO numbers are routinely wrong, as they have to generate them based on the direction of Congress, not on reality.

    HTH. HAND. YAAI.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  135. I don’t think any one of us is accountants, but I will do my best to scour over that partisan blog post written by someone who is neither an accountant, or an economist from 3 years ago that still hasn’t seemed to convince everyone for some reason. I will spend some time. It doesn’t appear that there was any hanky-panky going on so far. I’ll get back to you…

    P.S. the CBO numbers are routinely wrong? Evidence?

    and Patterico:
    I understand the concept, but it is nice of you to think that I don’t. When one starts parsing the accounting, they better be a damn good accountant, due to its complexity. Just think what Bush’s deficits would have been if he hadn’t paid for both wars through appropriations, something now changed by Obama.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  136. “I understand the concept, but it is nice of you to think that I don’t.”

    Nice doesn’t enter into it. You show no sign of understanding the argument made at the link I provided. You continue to try to make this a battle of authorities — without recognizing that the data provided by your authorities is discussed by mine and put in proper perspective by reference to other government numbers from the Treasury Department.

    I would like you to summarize the argument made at my link. Until you do I won’t believe you have tried to understand it.

    Patterico (1c765a)

  137. The fact that SS surpluses are invested in US Treasury securities has no impact whatsoever on the budget surplus or deficit. The receipt of the payroll taxes that created that surplus in the first place DOES impact on the budget surplus or deficit. The subsequent purchase of securities is simply an exchange of assets between two government agencies. Because one of the assets involved is Treasury securities however, the public debt increases, albeit entirely outside of any budget accounting.
    (this was a nice concise explanation I have found so far, will be back…)

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  138. If SS receives $700 billion in payroll taxes and pays out $550 billion in benefits, there is a $150 billion surplus in the federal budget. If the rest of the government runs a combined deficit of less than $150 billion, there will be a unified budget surplus, PERIOD. It doesn’t matter whether SSTF invests that surplus in US Treasury securities or not.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  139. (not my language – Hooten)
    Your Craig Steiner is a complete buffoon..a not so well-balanced software designer who belives that because he can find the MTS on the internet, he is suddenly a public finance wizard. Here’s a couple of gems of his to consider.

    First of all, there is no such thing as the national debt. That’s a layman’s term that only serves to muddy the waters. There is only the public debt and it is called that because it is issued by the public through the federal government. It represents the value of all US Treasury securities outstanding. Public debt is divided into two major parts based on who the lender is. Intragovernmental holdings arise when the lender is in fact a US government agency. Debt held by the public arises when the lender is anyone else, be it you or the government of Japan. Steiner repeatedly uses the term public debt without making it clear what he is referring to.

    Second of all, what he focuses on is the investment of Social Security surpluses in US Treasury securities which has NO EFFECT on budget balances. Cash moves from one government agency to another. There is no external party. What he doesn’t take into account at all is the original receipt of payroll taxes that gives rise to that surplus to begin with. Those are actual cash receipts — your “hard-earned money” deducted from your paycheck. Those DO affect the budget balance, but Steiner, the doofus, gets into the act only after those funds have already been received.

    Here’s a quick example…

    Social Security (and USPS):
    Receipts: 392
    Outlays: 311
    Surplus: 81
    Invested: 81 (Debt increases by this much)

    Everything Else:
    Receipts: 1,187
    Outlays: 1,290
    Surplus; -103 (Debt increases by this much)

    In this case, you had a unified budget deficit of 22, but the debt increased by 184. Here’s a different scenario…

    Social Security (and USPS):
    Receipts: 481
    Outlays: 331
    Surplus: 150
    Invested: 150 (Debt increases by this much)

    Everything Else:
    Receipts: 1,545
    Outlays: 1,458
    Surplus: 86 (Debt decreases by this much)

    In this case, both parts of the budget are in surplus, you have a unified budget surplus of 236, and the debt still goes up by 64. This is why you can’t use debt data to derive a budget position, and neither you nor Craig Steiner seems capable of comprehending that fact at all.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  140. from Treasury undersecretary Genser, Dec 14, 2000:

    During the Clinton Administration, we have moved very quickly from a sustained period of very large budget deficits to a period of substantial budget surpluses. We have gone from the challenge of funding a deficit of $290 billion in 1992 to managing a surplus of $237 billion this past year. That is over half a trillion dollars in improvement in annual budget results. In fact, this represents the longest period of consecutive fiscal improvements in our nation’s history. The results of the last five years are attached in Table 1.

    link to document.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  141. There weren’t any specials budget rules that applied for Clinton and then expired once Bush arrived. In FY2006 for example, the on-budget deficit was $434.5 billion. But SS was in surplus that year by $186.3 billion, so Bush claimed (correctly) that the unified budget deficit was only $248.2 billion. Because that is EXACTLY the way it works.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  142. “and everytime some righty says well Clinton did not have a surplus because he took surplus money from entitlements to balance the budget. I ask them how did those entitlements end up with surplus money? Could it be because Clinton raised entitlement taxes in 1993?

    The fact of the matter is Clinton ran a surplus by raising taxes including entitlement taxes. The rightwinger contention that he didn’t run a surplus is akin to saying well “hypothetical grocery store X is not profitable because they lost money on their meat sales despite the fact that they more then made up for it in their dairy and produce sales.” It does not matter which ends raise revenue…in the end the main thing is that the revenue was raised successfully.”

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  143. Whoops, I should have fact-checked that last one more thoroughly:

    No, because payroll tax rates were not changed in 1993. What changed was the addition of a second threshhold beyond which income tax could be owed on a larger portion of social security retirement benefits received.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  144. Chew on that for a while, I’m getting really tired. Have fun JD and Patterico.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  145. There is a reason why any accepted book or document on the subject lists a surplus. …Not because they have been tricked. It is you guys that have been misinformed by Steiner. Maybe tea-bagger cognitive dysfunction? Ok, that was uncalled for. Just taking a little shot at you. I’ll blame it on being overly tired :-)

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  146. Ah, the “wall o’ text.” When you can’t blind ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with bullshit.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  147. Also notice that the debt went DOWN in 1998 and 1999 since we made payments on it.
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 4/23/2010 @ 10:49 pm

    — The debt, by fiscal year-end numbers:
    1997: $5.41 trillion
    1998: $5.53 trillion
    1999: $5.66 trillion
    2000: $5.67 trillion
    2001: $5.81 trillion
    [source: treasurydirect.gov]

    — You will note that the TOTAL debt (Gross Federal Debt) did not go down. In regards to your claim above, here is the direct quote from Bill Clinton’s 2001 Budget:
    “Because the large budget deficit has been turned into a surplus, the debt held by the public was reduced in the last two years for the first time since 1969.” [Note: it went from $3.8 trillion to $3.6 trillion]
    — The ‘debt held by the public’. But that does not constitute the entire debt. From the same document:
    “Debt held by the public does not include debt the Government owes itself–the total of all trust fund surpluses and deficits over the years, like the Social Security surplus, which the law says must be invested in Federal securities.”
    — Hmm, I think someone else here (possibly our host?) made mention of this. So, despite a budget surplus of $69 billion in 1998, $124 billion in 1999 & $86 billion in 2000, the nation’s overall debt continued to grow. Did it grow relatively slowly? Yes. But it did grow. In fact, it grew by just about the same amount as the total of those 3 years of budget surplus added together ($279 billion in surplus vs. a $281 billion increase in debt).

    Hmmm . . .

    Here is what the government says in regards to a budget surplus reducing the debt:
    “The actual amount of annual debt retirement will vary depending upon the availability of eligible
    redeemable debt, and the use, if any, of the contingency reserve.”

    Icy Texan (61b7e2)

  148. icy Texan

    The reason the budget grew under Clinton is best explained on the Budget revenue expenditures side.

    clinton, refinanced debt to slow payment schedules freeing up cash while ading on refinancing costs. He made paying off the debt actually more expensive for political gain

    EricPWJohnson (1d0270)

  149. The reason the budget* grew under Clinton is best explained on the Budget revenue expenditures side.

    — I take it that you meant to type “debt” in that (*) location.

    Icy Texan (61b7e2)

  150. 109.I’m not wasting anymore time on you. – Comment by Chris Hooten

    If only that were true.

    Mr. Hooten, for a moment and for the sake of arguement I will agree with you that at least there was one year of surplus under Clinton. That said, it means absolutely nothing in the context of the original post and discussion. President Clinton was in office in a time of significant economic “growth” under the “dotcoms” that ended up in a burst bubble. In addition, any “surplus” resulted in part from an over-aggressive cash in on the “peace dividend” that required significant spending under GW to make up for (granted, it began under GHW).

    In addition (please see post #88 again), even if that was not true, you continue to ignore the main point of the original post to persist at your “dig”. Even if you were technically 100% correct, you still are missing the point. The “drunken sailor” is still taking offense to the comparison, it is still funny, and if you want to quible over who it was that first started spending money “like a drunken sailor”, you could still acknowledge the truth in the quote JD shared at #8 “Someone once pointed out that if Bush spent like a drunken sailor, then Obama is spending like the Spanish Armada on crack.”

    And even giving you that, it still ignores the fact that under Bush the country was not only trying to overcome the burst dotcom bubble but also a slight matter in downtown Manhatten that put a little stress on the economy.

    So, if you have an information processing disorder we have reason to be patient with you, but I doubt that is the case.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  151. MD, the problem here is that this character isn’t really posting to debate. I mean, look at the tenor and style. Complain about poor treatment and insults…and then start doing what? At least the person finally started posting a link or two—rather than his early comments that other people needed to prove things to him.

    Hallmarks of a troll, despite the negativity of the term.

    No, this person posts for reasons entirely separate from the issue at hand. Don’t you think? It’s all false pretenses and a game. But most of all, it is sheer partisanship—which the person considers to be balance. And after the comments about Fox News, it is (typically) ironically funny.

    I appreciate your and other people’s attempts to fence with this character (despite his somewhat creepy multipost marathon in the middle of the night). Maybe other people will have much to think about it based upon it.

    CH won’t, of course. Because he is correct, and everyone else is wrong. Hmm.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  152. Wingnut teabaggers! You just cannot understand his brilliance.

    JD (61265f)

  153. Icy Texan – yeah – the debt grew due to refinancing

    Interesting that Bush retired debt while balacing tax cuts, 9/11 katrina, 4 hurricanes in Florida in one month, Rita, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rebuilding of the navy and airforce that Clinton scrapped and reinvested in the space program

    EricPWJohnson (1d0270)

  154. “– You will note that the TOTAL debt (Gross Federal Debt) did not go down.”

    Are those constant dollar numbers? Even if so, shouldn’t we use per capita or per gdp numbers?

    imdw (017d51)

  155. Oh, c’mon imdw. Really? Your history says it all.

    Eric Blair (0d395c)

  156. Hey, I understand that CH loves him some cut and paste from Google.

    Eric Blair (0d395c)

  157. I went to bed early, and I see that you all had a nice conversation with Mr.Hooten re the National Debt as advanced by various factions, but nobody it seems has used actual Treasury data, at least Mr.Hooten hasn’t.
    So, for his edification, here are some numbers from the Treasury website on the Debt since the end of the Fiscal Year ending 9/30/92:
    (sorry for the post – don’t know how to link to this)
    09/30/2009 11,909,829,003,511.75
    09/30/2008 10,024,724,896,912.49
    09/30/2007 9,007,653,372,262.48
    09/30/2006 8,506,973,899,215.23
    09/30/2005 7,932,709,661,723.50
    09/30/2004 7,379,052,696,330.32
    09/30/2003 6,783,231,062,743.62
    09/30/2002 6,228,235,965,597.16
    09/30/2001 5,807,463,412,200.06
    09/30/2000 5,674,178,209,886.86
    09/30/1999 5,656,270,901,615.43
    09/30/1998 5,526,193,008,897.62
    09/30/1997 5,413,146,011,397.34
    09/30/1996 5,224,810,939,135.73
    09/29/1995 4,973,982,900,709.39
    09/30/1994 4,692,749,910,013.32
    09/30/1993 4,411,488,883,139.38
    09/30/1992 4,064,620,655,521.66

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

    As we can all see from this data, the smallest increase (and they are all increases) in the National Debt occurred during FY-2000,
    when the Debt only increased $19B – there’s your Clinton surplus!

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  158. Are those constant dollar numbers?

    Eric, that statement tells you how the left plans to deal with the national debt. Maybe they should consider renaming Washington Buenos Aires.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  159. Are those constant dollar numbers? Even if so, shouldn’t we use per capita or per gdp numbers?

    Here’s a chart of National Debt as a percentage of GDP

    Not a pretty picture for Obama fans.

    Some chump (9db743)

  160. Wow Obama is going to be president for a long time.

    imdw (017d51)

  161. Comment by imdw — 4/24/2010 @ 7:52 am

    Are those constant dollar numbers?
    — As far as I can tell, those are not constant dollar numbers. But does it really matter over the course of just a 4-year span?

    Even if so, shouldn’t we use per capita or per gdp numbers?
    — By jove, you’re correct! With the addition of 4 million new future-taxpayers to the population each year, that $70 billion per year increase in the debt is practically covered!

    Except, of course, for the small detail that the overall debt is now $12.87 trillion; it’s incresaed by $950 billion in just the past six months!!!

    And what would be the point of using GDP numbers? Just so that you can say “Hey, as a ratio of the GDP the debt really isn’t (or wasn’t — ten years ago) so bad”? Yep, in 2000 the debt was 57% of GDP, and in 2009 it was 83%. Feel better now?

    Icy Texan (61b7e2)

  162. Wow Obama is going to be president for a long time.

    No, but his policies are obviously having a long-term deleterious effect. But you knew that; you just couldn’t bring yourself to admit it.

    Some chump (9db743)

  163. Eric at #151

    Yes, I realize his posting is less than sincere, unless he has a true cognitive brain disorder. That’s why I pointed out how inappropriate his contribution is, even if he was correct in his claims, granting him all of the advantages possible. I think on occasion it is worthwhile to demonstrate how a troll is acting like a troll for anyone watching, and rather than debate data, which others have done quite well, I addressed his unwillingness (or inability) to acknowledge social cues in everyday communication.

    I do appreciate the work of several people who have presented data on the bottom line of the situation. I knew there had been claims of “having a surplus” and then the reality was “it wasn’t really a true surplus after all”, but I didn’t know the details. Know I have the definitive reference source.

    I think it’s like saying “GM payed off its debt”. I could say that I’ve “paid off my mortgage”, actually several times, by discharging one mortgage and taking up another. The fact is my obligation to Chase several years ago was paid off. Unfortunately, I have another financial institution that expects me to pay them money every month, even though I “paid off my mortgage” years ago.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  164. “– As far as I can tell, those are not constant dollar numbers. But does it really matter over the course of just a 4-year span? ”

    It depends on what the GDP deflator was for those 4 years.

    imdw (cf562d)

  165. Hilariously, Hooten has now repeatedly referenced data that rebuts his own claim that it was Bush who turned surplus to deficit, showing us data that shows that Clinton’s last budget was in deficit.

    This all the while ignoring the bottom line of the fact that the debt increases belie the fraud of the “official” budgets.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  166. What is more hilarious, SPQR, is imdw holding forth on deflators.

    Don’t you love it when trolls try to sound…smart?

    So imdw, let me respond to your comment in language more appropriate to you: EPIC FAIL.

    But your continual attempts to pass yourself off as a non-troll still amuse.

    And how was that apology to Patterico, by the way?

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  167. “Are those constant dollar numbers? Even if so, shouldn’t we use per capita or per gdp numbers?”

    imdw – Why don’t you tell is which way makes Clinton looks best and Bush looks worst? We’ll look at that.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  168. I went to bed early, and I see that you all had a nice conversation with Mr.Hooten re the National Debt as advanced by various factions, but nobody it seems has used actual Treasury data, at least Mr.Hooten hasn’t.
    So, for his edification, here are some numbers from the Treasury website on the Debt since the end of the Fiscal Year ending 9/30/92:

    <snip>
    </snip>
    Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 4/24/2010 @ 8:53 am

    AD RtR/OS, I posted links to the treasurydirect.gov site in my comments on the 22nd and 23rd in an attempt to show the state of the US debt over the past 200+ years.

    Ah well. I guess I did not deliver the message very well. I’ll put more effort into my delivery next time. :-)

    Bahrack (b4a61e)

  169. Comment by Bahrack — 4/24/2010 @ 12:35 pm

    Not your fault, I only skimmed through the comments posted in the interveening time, and only occasionally went with the links. I was mainly interested in seeing the response of Mr.Hooten, which is why I included the disclaimer “at least Mr.Hooten hasn’t“.

    I see that he has run back to wherever, and has been replaced by our resident P-A troll.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  170. “What is more hilarious, SPQR, is imdw holding forth on deflators.”

    Holding forth? I’m just mentioning them. You’re not familiar with the concept?

    “imdw – Why don’t you tell is which way makes Clinton looks best and Bush looks worst? We’ll look at that.”

    If you want to do them math and figure out which one looks better, go ahead. I think that looking at it as per-capita, or even better, per-unit of gdp, in constant dollars is rather important.

    imdw (017d51)

  171. How’s that Prop 13 analysis coming, imdw? Also, how about an apology to daley?

    You fool no one. Just a troll.

    Eric Blair (8e9826)

  172. National debt went up due to ssf buying treasury securities with the ss surplus. national debt (layman’s term) is intragovernmental debt plus public debt. Public debt(what we owe other people, not ourselves, and much more important) went down, because Clinton kept making payments on it. National debt went up because of the treasury securities purchase raising the intragovernmental debt. The same method had been used before Clinton, and after. It is just the way it is done. Craig Steiner is not a good source of analysis, and is a joke among anyone that actually understands the process, or are involved in it. That is why the CBO, The Heritage Foundation, and every other accepted source of this sort of information, including books, says that there was a surplus under Clinton. And it wasn’t just one year, either. Now I spent some time learning exactly how it worked so I could show you, so don’t just blow it off now, and say, “Well that really isn’t the point.” Because for me, the point was that you have been mislead and misinformed. Yet you were absolutely convinced you were correct. I hate being proven I was wrong, but I accept it when it is done, and don’t get angry. So factcheck.org is also correct. Tenacity always wins out when facts are on tenacity’s side.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  173. Now as far as other complaints… Moving the goalposts. There is no arguing that Clinton was the most fiscally responsible president we have had in a long time. BTW The President proposes the budget, congress makes it based on his proposals (unless they are complete morons), and then the President signs the budget into law. So suggesting that the President is not involved and personally tied to the budget is really disingenuous. The congress follows the lead of the President, no matter which way the congress leans. Now will everyone please stop running around shouting that there was no surplus under Clinton? Thank you.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  174. Faulkner, your indent is looking for you.

    Eric Blair (8e9826)

  175. What do you mean by ‘analysis’? You mean you can’t find the law? I’m sorry the link got eaten. What else do you want to know about prop 13?

    imdw (df0dab)

  176. BTW intragovernmental debt is money we owe ourselves, so despite the fact that treasury securities were purchased with ssf surplus, raising intragovernmental debt, it doesn’t affect the budget surplus, or public debt.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  177. Like I wrote, imdw, you know very little outside of Wikipedia and cut and paste functions. You fool no one. It’s just a little game to you.

    Where is your apology to daley, by the way? Better do it before Patterico sees how you called him a neo-Nazi. After all, you have had to apologize for being a jerk before here, right?

    Eric Blair (8e9826)

  178. Except, those IOU’s held by the SSA have to be redeemed at some point so that SSA can send those monthly checks out to retirees.
    So, taxes will have to be collected to pay the Left Pocket, what the Right Pocket owes it.

    Debt, is Debt, no matter who you owe it to!

    If you think those IOU’s are just meaningless, tell you what, from now on you can send me a check each month, and I’ll forego one from the SSA.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  179. See even I messed up on the distinction between public debt and national debt just now. Whoops. did you see what I did wrong? I inadvertently misrepresented “public debt” which is what steiner did. It is very complicated, and amateurs are prone to making mistakes like that. However, the accounting all adds up. see #140

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  180. Chrissey, and imadickwad, are both Sterling examples of the Public Education system.
    God Help Us!

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  181. Now this was a hell of a lot of work for a “troll” to spend proving something to you. So please give that moniker up when referring to me.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  182. AD-RtR/OS:

    That is not how SS works. They pay out from current payroll taxes, like they always have. There is no promise that you will get SS because you paid into the system. They could change that law at any time.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  183. Here’s the number you need to be concerned about:

    09/30/2009…$11,909,829,003,511.75
    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

    …plus the additional $1.6+Trillion that will be added this Fiscal Year.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  184. Except, SSA is upside down this year.
    They project that they will pay out more than they will recieve.
    Meaning, that Congress has to redeem some of those IOU’s to keep the system solvent.

    Have you been living under a rock (it’s rhetorical, we all know the answer)?

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  185. …receive…
    (typing too fast, reading too slow)

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  186. “Now this was a hell of a lot of work for a “troll” to spend proving something to you.”

    You can lead a troll to water but you can’t make him think.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  187. “Like I wrote, imdw, you know very little outside of Wikipedia and cut and paste functions”

    In this case I used google to find the text of prop 13.

    imdw (66f2a5)

  188. More facts, less name-calling. BTW AD, why didn’t you capitalize “Imadickwad?” And why did you capitalize “sterling,” “public,” “education,” “help,” and “us?” Were you making some sort of a point? I guess I missed it. *snark*

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  189. Yes, but did you actually read it, and understand it?
    And, do you have any understanding of the underlying social/political conditions that brought it into being?

    …crickets…

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  190. Comment by Chris Hooten — 4/22/2010 @ 3:07 pm

    27.I’m done with this thread.

    Please keep your promise next time.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  191. “Yes, but did you actually read it, and understand it?”

    Certainly enough to get that it is not just about property taxes.

    imdw (66f2a5)

  192. I guess I missed it

    Yes, your situational awareness leaves a lot to be desired.

    What we are missing is your absence (as promised).

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  193. Certainly enough to get that it is not just about property taxes.

    So, in fifty-words or less, inform us of what other items included in Prop-13.
    As someone who has resided in CA since the early-1940’s, I might have forgotten what it was we intended to do when voting on this in June of ’78.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  194. C’mon, CH. Did you really and truly just write:

    “…More facts, less name-calling. ..”

    Um. Mote. Log.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  195. “So, in fifty-words or less, inform us of what other items included in Prop-13.”

    You’re not familiar with the 2/3 requirement to raise taxes? That’s not just about property taxes. It was in section 3 of prop 13.

    imdw (8ed6c1)

  196. Wow, go back in all the threads and count how many times I was called names, and then how many times I called other people names. I think you will be surprised.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  197. IOU’s? Do you know how the system works?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  198. There is no arguing that Clinton was the most fiscally responsible president we have had in a long time.

    Oh, I’ll argue it.

    Deficits were lower under Clinton, to be sure, but that wasn’t because of fiscal responsibility on his part.

    Clinton benefited by inheriting an economy which was in its 8th consecutive quarter of expansion when he took office, and revenues were increasing as a result. One big-ticket item of his, health care, didn’t pass Congress, so that reined in his spending a bit. When the Republicans took over Congress in 1995, they thwarted some of Clinton’s other plans. Welfare reform was a big thing, and Clinton was hardly a proponent of it. The capital gains tax cut saw a huge increase in tax revenue as people realized their stock market gains more readily, but that wasn’t something Clinton was behind, either.

    So, there were some spending cuts that Clinton really didn’t originate, and some of his proposed spending that Congress didn’t agree to. That wasn’t so much fiscal responsibility as it was making a virtue of necessity.

    As far as spending goes, here are the budget outlays from 1990-2001 (in billions of dollars):

    1990 1253.1
    1991 1324.3 +5.68%
    1992 1381.6 +4.32%
    1993 1409.5 +2.02%
    1994 1461.9 +3.72%
    1995 1515.9 +3.69%
    1996 1560.6 +2.95%
    1997 1601.3 +2.59%
    1998 1652.7 +3.21%
    1999 1702.0 +2.98%
    2000 1789.2 +5.12%
    2001 1863.2 +4.14%

    Now, I’ll happily agree that spending under Bush was profligate. It’s one of the things that rankled me about Bush, and between him and Republicans in Congress not maintaining a firmer grasp on the purse, it’s one of the reasons the Republicans lost control of Congress. But you’ll have to agree that, as bad as Bush was, Obama is far, far worse in that regard.

    Some chump (9db743)

  199. CH: why not be better than the people you see as your opponents? Wouldn’t that make your position stronger and more ethical?

    But it is more difficult to ignore insults, and perhaps more difficult not to deal them.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  200. Wingnut teabaggers.

    Why don’t you just crawl back over to BradBlog and tell them how awesome you are, and how you have been beclowning yourself for the last couple days.

    JD (37e9a1)

  201. Is that why you trust the republicans so much now, Some Chump? Because they totally screwed you over for 10 years? Bush Deficit spent for no reason, while Obama was forced into it by a dire economic environment. Practically the whole world had to have stimulus bills because of the worldwide economic catastrophe that was, and is still going on. Maybe you guys don’t care about those people that can now barely make ends meet, that wouldn’t otherwise if not for the spending? Who cares about them, right? Do you understand what would happen?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  202. 10 years? Brain fart.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  203. Are you disappointed, JD, that I haven’t? I don’t need any help.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  204. Chris Hooten:

    Bush Deficit spent for no reason, while Obama was forced into it by a dire economic environment.

    I’m speechless.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  205. Um. Chris? The President was forced into passing a bill that the majority of voters disagree with? Do you really think his administration would agree with you that (i) these bills are a bad idea but (ii) they have been forced into it by that eeeevvviiiillll GWB?

    Do you not see how…um….unusual that position is? How it is not distinguishable from giving the man a pass for whatever he does?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  206. Eric:
    Being “better” than someone you are debating with does not strengthen your position, it strengthens the PERCEPTION of your position. Again, name calling and juvenile behavior just rolls off back. I have been at least, if not more civil than almost everybody else.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  207. DRJ, I am conflicted about this fellow. That is so clearly…um…a nontraditional view of recent events, and so clearly and virulently partisan in two directions (anti GWB, pro BHO), that I am not sure if the person is actually serious.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  208. Eric:
    No, no, they were not forced into it by GWB. It was a global economic cataclysm. It affected the entire world.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  209. Comment by Some chump — 4/24/2010 @ 2:47 pm

    Isn’t it interesting that BHO’s deficit for this year will be greater than WJC’s spending in 1997?

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  210. IOU’s? Do you know how the system works?

    Tell me then, what is a Government Bond, if not an IOU?
    Stupidity this great must truly be painful.
    How much Oxy do you take a day?

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  211. I am not trying to fight with you, CH, but I have noticed that you are quite sure of how you are perceived by others, and even more certain of when you are correct about things. It must be nice.

    Just a suggestion: things may not be quite as simple as you think, where your own behavior is concerned.

    I mean, you are quite sure of you knowledge of statistics, apparently. Of polling. Of economics. Of what I think you perceive as “balance” on someone else’s blog. Of politics in general. Of how often you are rude, and how that rudeness is perceived by others.

    It does not help your position as a commenter who would surely wish to be respected—as Patterico is willing to consider you (despite his efforts to get you to tone down last night). But by all means, pay no attention to what I write. I would remind you that trolls would say many of the things you are saying. You might consider, again, being better than that.

    And if insults roll off your back, why count insults and pay attention to what you consider to be your own superiority in that area? Since they aren’t important? Again, why not be better? I mean, you aren’t keeping score, are you?

    As for being “better” than someone else, I point to DRJ. She is perceived as respected because her actions merit that respect.

    Your choice.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  212. I have stuff to do, so I will be gone for a while. I’m sure you will all miss me 😉 I think we disagree on a lot of points. That’s OK, it doesn’t make any of us a douchenozzles. I’m still surprised no one is interested in the judge that challenged the other judge’s decision that defunding ACORN was unconstitutional. I thought you guys would jump on that in a second. I even gave you a link. Oh well… It’s not over, anyways. Cheers!

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  213. Okay, Chris. Without the Google fest and cut and pasting you did last night (no insult, but you did do that), why not outline the current economic cataclysm. What made it happen? Why wasn’t it happening in 2006 – 2008?

    You see, I think you are a hyperpartisan with a most unusual worldview (and a touch of self-certitude that I find puzzling). If I am wrong, fine. Show me. But you are the one who commented that GWB created spending bills for no reason, but that BHO has no choice.

    Spend some time on it please. And I am curious about what you think, not what you can cut and paste.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  214. Hooten, of course we disagree on a lot of points, but what is more troubling is your ability to shrug off inconvenient facts. So many of your beliefs are in contradiction to actual facts.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  215. I have stuff to do, so I will be gone for a while.

    This is someone from our past…the import/export trader who played scratch golf, etc… who used this same rhetorical device to slink away when he was losing a debate.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  216. And now back to ACORN? Again, these are things that trolls do. I’m not saying that CH is a troll. But these actions are not exactly reassuring that he is not.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  217. 197.IOU’s? Do you know how the system works? – Comment by Chris Hooten

    yes, IOU’s

    Social Security to start cashing Uncle Sam’s IOUs

    The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

    It’s time to start cashing them in. For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits _ billions more each year. Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes _ nearly $29 billion more.

    Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs _ in the form of Treasury bonds _ which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg’s municipal offices. Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn’t be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come. Social Security’s shortfall will not affect current benefits. As long as the IOUs last, benefits will keep flowing. But experts say it is a warning sign that the program’s finances are deteriorating. Social Security is projected to drain its trust funds by 2037 unless Congress acts, and there’s concern that the looming crisis will lead to reduced benefits.

    “This is not just a wake-up call, this is it. We’re here,” said Mary Johnson, a policy analyst with The Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group. “We are not going to be able to put it off any more.” For more than two decades, regardless of which political party was in power, Congress has been accused of raiding the Social Security trust funds to pay for other programs, masking the size of the budget deficit.

    Remember Al Gore’s “lockbox,” the one he was going to use to protect Social Security? The former vice president talked about it so much during the 2000 presidential campaign that he was parodied on “Saturday Night Live.” Gore lost the election and never got his lockbox. But to illustrate the government’s commitment to repaying Social Security, the Treasury Department has been issuing special bonds that earn interest for the retirement program. The bonds are unique because they are actually printed on paper, while other government bonds exist only in electronic form.

    They are stored in a three-ring binder, locked in the bottom drawer of a white metal filing cabinet in the Parkersburg offices of Bureau of Public Debt. The agency, which is part of the Treasury Department, opened offices in Parkersburg in the 1950s as part of a plan to locate important government functions away from Washington, D.C., in case of an attack during the Cold War.
    One bond is worth a little more than $15.1 billion and another is valued at just under $10.7 billion. In all, the agency has about $2.5 trillion in bonds, all backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. But don’t bother trying to steal them; they’re nonnegotiable, which means they are worthless on the open market.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  218. AD, I don’t think that this is “I work here is done.”

    There might be a Wall O’ Text about 3 AM, however.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  219. There you go again, Doc…More of those inconvenient fact thingies.

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  220. As a troll, I would be doing a very poor job at this point. I assure you, if I had any intention of being a troll, I would be far more successful at it. I am much more interested in debate, and sorting out the truth from the lies. As for something positive I have noticed:
    You guys are not a bunch of racists, which some people may mistakenly believe about those that associate themselves with the tea-partiers. I didn’t think that you were, however. That guy with the swastika, though, probably. I don’t think he represents the tea-partiers, although I don’t think he came to make them look bad, rather he just wanted an opportunity to give the razzy to the black president. You need to make sure those kinds of dimwits are not accepted (which it appears is what happened, cetainly within this patterico-based community. Bye for now.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  221. The only thing I have posted about ACORN is that a judge thinks the decision that defunding ACORN was unconstitutional was the WRONG DECISION. That strengthens your arguments, not weaken them. But hate me for it anyways :-)

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  222. so I will be gone for a while.

    The longer the while, the more we’ll enjoy it.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  223. A pseudo-McCarthy, passive/aggressive attack.
    “…You guys are not a bunch of racists…” hint/hint/nudge/nudge…(which it appears is what happened, cetainly within this patterico-based community…

    What an A-hole!

    AD - RtR/OS! (9562e0)

  224. *sigh* I still don’t, and never have thought that you guys were racists. I’m not a lib, and I don’t have progressive blinders on. I do not support gun control, for instance. But apparently, I am an A-hole? Yet another round of name calling, this one after I tried to show that I don’t have all of the supposed mainstream liberal biases about tea party supporters.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  225. 212.I have stuff to do, so I will be gone for a while. – 4/24/2010 @ 3:36 pm
    220.As a troll, I would be doing a very poor job at this point. 4/24/2010 @ 3:47 pm
    – Comments by Chris Hooten

    Au contrare’ mi amor, you have occupied the attention of productive people who have better things to do than try to pin you down, and you keep teasing us with promises that this endeavor will soon end.

    Um, in the cross-posting you may have not seen # 217. I would hate for you to miss it.

    You see, that is a classic example of inapproriate social behavior, whether “trollish” or not. Being condescending and wrong at the same time is just bound to be annoying, and being right 99% of the rest of the time (which you are not) does not make up for it.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  226. Chris: threadjacking is one of the characteristics of trolls. You say you are not a troll (actually, in a nonironic tone, you said that if you were a troll, you would be a successful one…hmmm).

    You should try to stick to the subject. And if you want to change it, you could always write to Patterico or have your own blog.

    Have a good evening, since you have to go.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  227. “Bush Deficit spent for no reason”

    Chris – Correct. He bought a lot of rainbows and pixie dust.

    You are aware that the Democrats in Congress wanted to spend more than Bush on everything except the military, right, even though a majority voted for both the Afghanistan and Iraq AUMF’s? Obama is demonstrating those unleashed Democrat spending urges. I suggest revisiting your talking points.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  228. Hey, daley. Let us know if good old imdw apologizes for the neonazi slur.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  229. Some chump @198 – Don’t forget that Clinton was able to ram through substantial reductions in military spending as a result of Reagan ending the Cold War. Those reductions offset the growth of his spending in other areas.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  230. “Let us know if good old imdw apologizes for the neonazi slur.”

    Eric – I will not be holding my breath.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  231. Well, if he doesn’t, we won’t be hearing much from him. Which is fine by me, frankly. Imdw only posts to argue or contradict. A typical specimen of internet troll.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  232. “You guys are not a bunch of racists”

    Chris – I have never claimed to be a racist. Who told you that we were?

    Thanks for the kind words. Having your support means the world to me. Srsly. FOAD poseur.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  233. ________________________________________

    Bush Deficit spent for no reason, while Obama was forced into it by a dire economic environment. Comment by Chris Hooten

    OMG. LOL.

    Your credibility and objectivity — certainly in regards to your doing the watusi to make budgets under a Clinton White House sound as pure as the driven snow — pretty much are in the toilet now.

    Previously I haven’t seen enough comments from you to gauge exactly how partisan or dogmatic you were. I did have suspicions your gut instincts were generally quite liberal. Your comment about Obama pretty much nails it for me.

    And you have to be way more leftwing than I am rightwing, because I at least have enough objectivity to admit George W Bush was too much the enabler to — and supporter of — spendthrift government budgeting.

    Finally, you remind me of this liberal/Democrat I was speaking with a few months ago. He was spouting off about how horrible Clarence Thomas was because he mistreated women—ie, because he, at worse, got somewhat bawdy with Anita Hill. The hilarity and idiocy of this liberal’s POV was that he, at the same time, is a big fan of Bill Clinton (aka “Slick Willy”). You know, the guy with a closet full of skeletons of women like Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Wiley, Monica Lewinsky, etc.

    The phoniness and foolishness of liberal sentiment is a sight to behold.

    Mark (411533)

  234. Chris Hooten on the Patterico-Brad Friedman debate:

    “Let me get this right, you, Patterico, are claiming that *Brad* is the dishonest partisan? I think milk just shot out of my nose in uncontrollable laugh-spurts… Brad is the one whose trademark is a flat lie? More milk spurts… Saying it won’t make it so, Patty. You’re going to find it much harder muddying up Friedman than most other people because he has a history. That history does not include “lies,” as you suggest. Many people are familiar with him and his blog, and those that are can see your bold-faced lies about him in a heartbeat. Oh, but you are really making yourself look good, so by all means keep at it…. More milky nostril squirts…”

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  235. Eeew, daley. “Milky nostril squirts“?

    To quote Jerry Seinfeld: Really?

    Well, at least we know the kind of person good old Chris Hooten is now, right?

    In other news, daley, check out imdw’s “apology” to you. Amazing.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  236. I apologize to everyone for my intemperate comments @233.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  237. #237 daleyrocks:

    I apologize to everyone for

    quoting the, uh, line that Eric quotes again at #236?

    You ought to. I mean, that was, that was eeewwwwwww. Until you apologize for that, I think your racist leanings are quite apparent, and you are denounced.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  238. I’m with EW1(SG) … eeeeeyyyyyuuuuuuwwww.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  239. Reading this thread almost made a nice Trader Joe’s Coastal Merlot shoot out of my nose.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  240. I did not recall that Chris Hooten claimed I lied about Brad.

    I am sorry I defended him in any way.

    I simply read one thread and thought he had behaved himself, without insulting anyone.

    Carry on, as you were.

    Patterico (1c765a)

  241. Well, at least it wasn’t … uh, what daleyrocks quoted.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  242. Carry on, as you were. – Comment by Patterico — 4/24/2010

    Yes, Sir, Captain P.!!

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  243. I have to say, daley, that you brought the hammer down with that particular quotation from CH. It was (sorry about this) positively Andrew Sullivanesque!

    Not that there is anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld would say.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  244. Ooops…my last actually had to do with libertarian MSM reporters and a California red.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  245. Eric – I’m a giver.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  246. “I’m not a lib, and I don’t have progressive blinders on.”

    I’m not a lib, I’m a progressive. Get it right haters!

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  247. I need to give attributions : I got a lot of it from this thread on another blog which I came across. I don’t ever think I linked there.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  248. I need to clear this up, too:

    You need to make sure those kinds of dimwits are not accepted (which it appears is what happened, cetainly within this patterico-based community.

    Whoops! That was extremely unclear. Crap. I meant that what happened here was that you did not accept that kind of a dimwit. I totally see your confusion, and it is my fault. Sorry. I did not mean that you accepted that kind of a dingle-berry.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  249. I’m still busy, I just had forgotten to give a proper attribution, and then noticed my previous statement was totally f*cked up and confusing. Again, sorry.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  250. Oh, I see that you have found that I can be obnoxious every once in a while. Good job pulling out that old comment from a different blog before I had ever visited this blog. I got a chuckle out of it again. Notice a lack of such behavior here. Again, cheers!

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  251. Chris Hooten on Patterico’s March 3, 2010 story on Big Journalism:

    “Stupid people hate ACORN because some liar told them to. Time after time after time again, these phony ACORN investigations always come up the same… INNOCENT. They misrepresented the videos, and should release the originals immediately, but never will, because it will once and for all show what a hoax this whole thing was. For goodness sakes, ACORN comes up innocent, and O’Keefe is now an accused felon. This doesn’t even take into account the very real laws that were broken when they illegally taped the ACORN workers without their knowledge. So they committed at crime in the act of taping the tapes, and committed a hoax in the act of heavily editing the video, putting things in the wrong order, adding in overdubs, editing things out. See the recent Stephen Colbert take off on it with hannity if you want to see what I mean. This was a big hoax. It is always a big hoax with ACORN. Maybe you conservatives can get them next year, right? Not likely. Not without lying again.”

    http://bigjournalism.com/patterico/2010/03/02/debunking-some-emerging-acorn-liberal-myths/

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  252. notice the “total” line, and where it becomes positive, instead of negative. Also notice that the debt went DOWN in 1998 and 1999 since we made payments on it. (emphasis mine) It is called “Historical Budget Data” and shows data from the last 40 years. Oh, but I am sure that isn’t good enough either. Give it up, JD. All the cards are in my hand. I can do this forever, because there is an unlimited supply of accurate information on this issue. So far you haven’t proven a damn thing.

    Really, Hooten? I’ve got some links too–from the US Treasury. It’s called Historical Debt Outstanding, and at NO TIME does it go down during the period in question:

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm

    http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm

    09/30/2001 5,807,463,412,200.06
    09/30/2000 5,674,178,209,886.86
    09/30/1999 5,656,270,901,615.43
    09/30/1998 5,526,193,008,897.62
    09/30/1997 5,413,146,011,397.34

    The only cards you have in your hand are a pair of deuces. I’ve got a straight flush, chump.

    Another Chris (35bdd0)

  253. I’m not taking the bait. I am intentionally not getting involved in that debate because it is a hotbutton issue here. I came over here to check you guys out because some of you came over to brad blog.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  254. Another Chris makes a good point, Chris Hooten, and this is something you’ve been debating for a couple of days. Please respond.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  255. I will fiercely stick up for Brad. I have followed him for years, and have met him, and I have yet to see where he has lied even once. It has always ended up being true when all the facts were sorted through. As such, calling him a liar is a lie itself. That is all I will comment on about that, and is the only justification I have for those comments. At least I had the decency to come over here and spend some time checking out just what you guys are about, rather than conjecturing. I have not come over here to make trouble, despite what you think. I don’t always agree with you, of course. At least we kept all this in this thread, rather than muddying up all of the other ones for everyone else. I needed to show that there was at least some misinformation floating around, and claiming there was no surplus under Clinton was just so… unbelievably misinformed…

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  256. Please respond to Another Chris’ comment.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  257. Gonna be busy for a while, so don’t expect too many responses… Hammer away at me I guess.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  258. Crap you posted that as I was typing the last comment, right before I was about to take off, so I can’t address Another Chris right now, but I will try later…

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  259. It’s the same crud, though…

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  260. Honestly, DRJ, I think that this issue is somewhat medical. I mean, look at the bizarre posts, the certitude on all topics, the threadjacking, the sensitivity coupled with verbal bombthrowing. I wonder what Stashiu3 thinks.

    Eventually, this character will just go away. Maybe get some help.

    The posts about spewing milk (thanks again, daley) sort of say it all. Brrr..

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  261. This is my favorite quote:

    “…I have not come over here to make trouble…”

    Um. About that….maybe he hasn’t read his own posts?

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  262. DRJ, would a response really matter in light of the factual data? I don’t have an issue with Hooten claiming that there was a budget surplus, although the data I’ve seen shows that when the Social Security revenues are removed, the surpluses are pretty small.

    The problem is that he’s been claiming that the national debt went down, and disingenuously parsing the issue by arguing that one set of debt is more important than the other. Well, when one does a debt-to-the-penny search at the same Treasury site, it shows that there were actually days even during the Bush administration when the debt went down, but on a year-to-year basis it’s gone up every year since 1957.

    Claiming that making payments on one set of debt but not the other, even when the total debt keeps climbing, (because the former is “more important,” supposedly) is sheer desperation–it’s like claiming that your debt went down when you made payments on the one with 20% interest, but the one with 4% interest raised your total debt beyond its previous levels because you kept spending on it.

    That Hooten felt the need to do his stupid little victory lap in the comment I quoted just made contradicting him with the government’s own historical data that much sweeter. Look at his comment here:

    It’s the same crud, though…

    Actually, Hooten, it’s not–I’ve got your nuts in a vise here, because you claimed that the debt went down in 1997 and 1998–not the budget deficit, the debt; and I’ve got the quote from my initial comment to prove it. The Treasury’s own data so thoroughly contradicts your assertion that you’re just going to make an jackass of yourself to claim otherwise. Although, if you’re really that much of a masochist, I can list the debt figures from 1956 to the present. It won’t convince you, certainly, but it will be nice to have all those lovely numbers lined up in a row showing how wrong your claim was.

    Another Chris (35bdd0)

  263. Another Chris, seriously. Look at CH’s posts. This isn’t about an honest difference of opinion. There is something going on with this fellow that goes beyond politics. And beyond milk snorting.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  264. And there will be a huge Faulknerian Wall O’ Text tonight, I’m sure. One giant angry sentence.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  265. As such, calling him a liar is a lie itself.

    And that’s all I need to know about you. That tells me that you are quite willing to be untruthful yourself in an attempt to pursue your goals.

    What your goals are is anybody’s guess, as you aren’t particularly good at representing yourself coherently.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  266. EW, there is a weird affect to the person’s communication. Hostile and superior…and quite non-self aware. Not a troll; something different.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  267. Another Chris,

    Like you, I believe we can all read the posts and comments and decide for ourselves what makes sense so there’s no reason to force a debate or a consensus. However, Chris Hooten seems interested in this topic since he keeps returning to it. I hope he will stick around and finish it this time.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  268. You remain a fine person, DRJ. But I think we should all pledge not to drink milk during our review of the threads. Just in case.

    Eric Blair (f4bc41)

  269. #267 Eric Blair:

    Not a troll; something different.

    Something different, all right. And I’m not sure either, but it almost strikes me as meth.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  270. However, Chris Hooten seems interested in this topic since he keeps returning to it. I hope he will stick around and finish it this time.

    I’m not sure how else he could finish it, other than admit, “Yes, I can see that the national debt did not go down during the period that I claimed it did.” His conflating of the budget deficit and the national debt is a common misunderstanding, to be sure–notice in the comment of his that I quoted he claimed that the debt went down based on the National Budget Data, not the Historical Debt Outstanding. It’s like claiming that your household budgets show that you spent less during a four-year period during the previous decade, even though your credit reports show that you in fact took out another $10K during that period beyond what you budgeted for, on top of your existing debt.

    But that common misunderstanding doesn’t excuse his inaccurate assertion that the national debt went down during the period he claims it did–in fact, it shows that he has an issue with paying attention to detail when it might contradict his political proclivities. Given the actual factual data, he might as well tell me that water isn’t wet and birds don’t fly.

    The facts are irrefutable–the national debt did not go down in 1997 and 1998, like he claimed, and he used the wrong set of data to bolster it besides. Quite frankly, I’m not going to take any response from him seriously at this point because he doesn’t have a leg to stand on anymore. I expect to hear a bunch of excuse-mongering and dishonest sophistry as a cover for his stubbornness and unwillingness to admit that his claim to having an unlimited supply of accurate information was blown up by me in about 15 seconds.

    Another Chris (35bdd0)

  271. Another Chris:

    I’m not sure how else he could finish it, other than admit, “Yes, I can see that the national debt did not go down during the period that I claimed it did.”

    That would be a reasonable response. We’ll see.

    DRJ (09fa6c)

  272. DRJ

    One of the many things that Clinton did in his last two years was to slow debt payments creating marginal surpluses, also to committ the next administrations to a more difficult and accelerated repayment schedule

    Also getting rid of nearly 40% of the Navy and Airforce helped

    EricPWJohnson (277a19)

  273. “I will fiercely stick up for Brad. I have followed him for years, and have met him, and I have yet to see where he has lied even once. It has always ended up being true when all the facts were sorted through. As such, calling him a liar is a lie itself.”

    Not so much. It’s about the only truthful thing that can be said about him.

    But it would be diverting to have a debate about his truthfulness, or lack thereof. For the amusement value.

    Patterico (1c765a)

  274. I think Chris Hooten is a strung out druggie. He keeps coming back to his vomit like a dog or a pothead demanding marijuana legalization.

    PCD (56ee0d)

  275. To believe someone (and believe in them) so completely; to follow so blindly, that you are willing to publicly assert that they never lie . . . ya know, C.H. could be a Scientologist.

    Icy Texan (e77df9)

  276. When his bad behavior elsewhere (and not too distant) is pointed out, he dismisses it. He also has ignored where he has been both condescending and wrong at the same time.

    In addition, as I’ve stated before, even if he was right on the Clinton budget issue, he has ignored the context of that (dotcom bubble, “peace dividend”, etc.), and most of all the context of the original reason for the post. If he wanted to be sociable but disagree, he could at least say the drunken sailor had a funny line, and agree with the quote from JD that even if Bush spent money like a drunken sailor, Obama does like the Spanish Armada on crack. But no, he criticizes Bush’s spending and ignores the dotcom bubble burst, 911, and two years of Democrat Congressional control while justifying Obama’s spending as “necessary”. In my opinion, even if one agreed in principle with the “spend more” approach and the need for “emergency health care reform”, the steps that Obama and the Congress have taken do not make sense and have failed miserably. If the problem was so many dieing from no health care access each month, change it now not years down the road. If spending more will stimulate the economy, spend it, and spend it on things that create new jobs at less than $200,000+ per job.

    It is not rational to support things the way they have played out.

    I think Mr. Hooten is a very good “stealth” troll. Whatever he is, he either can’t follow or intentionally ignores common appropriate responses.

    Stashiu3, either you’ve been content to watch the rest of us flail away here or you’ve been busy elsewhere. Any forensic psychiatry guesses without being unprofessional??

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  277. “I will fiercely stick up for Brad. I have followed him for years”

    I this explains a lot, but good thing Chris is not a lib. Heh.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  278. Chris – Can fire melt steel?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  279. Notice that Hooten abandoned his original claim – that Bush turned Clinton’s surpluses into deficits – because even Hooten’s choice of data shows that Clinton’s last budgets were not in surplus even by their assumptions. Hooten’s been trying to defend a rear guard action, that of any surplus at all for even a single year, while pretending to have conquered the battlefield.

    It is comical.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  280. “I think Mr. Hooten is a very good “stealth” troll.”

    MD in Philly – Sorry to disagree. I don’t think he is very good at all, just persistent and ignorant in his persistence. It fits with a Brad Friedman fanboi profile.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  281. Stashiu3, either you’ve been content to watch the rest of us flail away here or you’ve been busy elsewhere.
    Comment by MD in Philly — 4/25/2010 @ 6:28 am

    I’ve been largely staying behind the scenes rather than comment lately. I’m not impressed with Hooten by any means and don’t feel the need to engage him further. I think he’s completely sincere in his own mind, while also completely lacking insight into his own behavior and poor reasoning. He believes himself persuadable, but he’s not. I’m trying not to waste my time on stuff like that anymore. He’s not a troll in the classic sense, just an arrogant ass.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  282. Thanks daley and stashiu3.

    I guess what I meant was that he has succeeded in occupying this thread and many of us without moving forward.

    I think he’s completely sincere in his own mind

    That is a common mystery to me, wondering whether someone is essentially sociopathic in how good they knowingly lie, or so locked into a sincerely held view they just can’t see the obvious. Oh, well.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  283. #283 MD in Philly:

    That is a common mystery

    The basis of epistemology, no?

    That’s why some of us choose to occupy our time more productively getting bread and milk from the grocery. 😉

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  284. #284 Comment by EW1(SG)

    Maybe I should contact Prof. Dreske ith a request/suggestion he can pass on to a grad student.
    How to Know if a Politician is “Sincere but Wrong” or “Lying Through His/Her Teeth : Discussions Among the Politically Astute at the Memorial Union Terrace on Friday Afternoons A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Doctorate in Philosophy.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  285. LOL!

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  286. An example of why there is epistemological closure among the criminally insane, conspiracy mongering, knuckle-dragging, thorazine shuffling, drooling morons following Brad Friedman’s fringe website.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  287. Chris Hooten on Patterico’s March 3, 2010 story on Big Journalism:

    “Stupid people hate ACORN because some liar told them to. Time after time after time again, these phony ACORN investigations always come up the same… INNOCENT.

    Hooten doing back flips to make budgets during the Clinton era sound AOK, to make budgets under Obama sound AOK, and then — the ultimate nail in the coffin — to make the ethics of ACORN sound AOK?

    A hat trick! A leftwing one, at that.

    Too partisan, dogmatic and — most crucially — disengenuous to ever be taken seriously.

    Mark (411533)

  288. “we can all read the posts and comments and decide for ourselves what makes sense so there’s no reason to force a debate or a consensus.”

    After so many have tried repeatedly to point out the obvious by citing links from the Treasury’s web site, and other sources, you have to come to the conclusion that the equine is dead on its feet. It will not be revived, much less made aware, no matter the vigor with which the clue bat is administered.

    As alluded to in a comment above, there are some people who are convinced that fire can not and did not melt, never mind structurally weaken, load bearing steel. But they are certain that dozens of stealthy explosives experts were able, while remaining undetected, to rig the twin towers to implode just after two very large, fuel laden airliners, seen by thousands of people, flew into the towers.

    Following such people into their mystical realm can be entertaining, in small doses… :-)

    Bahrack (b4a61e)

  289. Speaking of whoopin’ on dead equine… This fits. And it would be funny if it were not one of are nations educators.

    Bahrack (b4a61e)

  290. intragovernmental debt has nothing to do with having a budget surplus or not. Sorry, I got my ps3 back after 3 1/2 months, so you have to have your priorities, and you are not my priorities :-). If you have legitimate concerns about the way the Social Security surpluses are used to purchase treasury securities, adding to intragovernmental debt, and want them to do some other form of accounting, you need to argue that issue, not that Clinton did not have a surplus. Everyone is going to look at you like you are a completely partisan dolt otherwise, because it would appear that you want to change longstanding accounting practices merely for the purpose of denying Clinton his budget surpluses. Hardly a good reason to change such practices. Everyone is going to laugh you out of the room as partisan hacks, of course. Using Craig Steiner as proof of Clinton not having a surplus is like using Ariana Huffington to prove that Bush was a war criminal. Neither one is going to be taken very seriously. Public debt is the only debt taken into account as far as budget surpluses. That is not the same thing as the “national debt.” Cheers!

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  291. I really can’t believe that you guys think you have any kind of a point on this issue. I would really like one of you to elaborate on what, exactly, you are complaining about that somehow “denies” Clinton his multiple surpluses? You keep posting Craig Steiner’s junior treasury hunt club findings, but you don’t specify where your complaint is, exactly. What did they do wrong? What should they have done differently? And why would this affect Clinton’s surplus? Please explain it to a simple minded person such as myself :-) I understand that the treasury information has access to debt data that is not related to federal budget surpluses, but why is listing that data repeatedly somehow a “debunking” of the surpluses? Could someone please explain it to me. You all seem very convinced. I am not sure how intragovernmental debt data that is available at the treasury dept somehow is related to budget surpluses. It is not used in the calculation of budget surpluses at all.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  292. SPRQ:

    Notice that Hooten abandoned his original claim – that Bush turned Clinton’s surpluses into deficits – because even Hooten’s choice of data shows that Clinton’s last budgets were not in surplus even by their assumptions. Hooten’s been trying to defend a rear guard action, that of any surplus at all for even a single year, while pretending to have conquered the battlefield.

    It is comical.

    What a bunch of hogwash. What data are you referring to? All the data I have shown has consistently shown multiple surplus years back to back. I want to know specifically why you think there was no surplus. Is it based solely on the conjecture of some partisan bloviator named Craig Steiner?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  293. Chris, what’s your PSN? Warhawk much?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  294. I Don’t have warhawk, Sorry.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  295. Hypo 1: They should not have done things that way
    Although they may have done it before and after same way.

    Hypo 1: Longstanding accounting practices are lies.
    Hypo 2: Surplus denied with Clinton’s burgers and fries.

    Hypo 2 based on Hypo 1
    End to the means in the end run.

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  296. Hooten, all you are doing is demonstrating your inability to understand the topic, and your inability to understand the data – including that which you yourself cited.

    Clinton’s last budget year was not in surplus even as projected much less as completed.

    But the key is really the year over year growth of the national debt. Years in which the national debt grows are simply not surplus years regardless of what accounting tricks fool you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  297. And the source of that information that I’m refering to, Hooten? The US Treasury.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  298. Apparently, Chris Hooten works in GM’s accounting department.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  299. I really can’t believe that you guys think you have any kind of a point on this issue.

    Obviously, you are being deliberately obtuse, but let me quote you again for the benefit of the thread.

    notice the “total” line, and where it becomes positive, instead of negative. Also notice that the debt went DOWN in 1998 and 1999 since we made payments on it. (emphasis mine) It is called “Historical Budget Data” and shows data from the last 40 years. Oh, but I am sure that isn’t good enough either. Give it up, JD. All the cards are in my hand. I can do this forever, because there is an unlimited supply of accurate information on this issue. So far you haven’t proven a damn thing.

    And that’s where your argument fell apart. The national debt NEVER went down y/o/y, no matter how you spin it. Claiming one set of debt doesn’t matter “because we owe it to ourselves,” as you did earlier in this thread, is as fundamentally dishonest as GM claiming they paid back government loans when they simply did a balance transfer of their debt.

    Our national debt has not gone down since 1957. This is an undisputable fact that you cannot wish or explain away.

    The national debt and the annual budget are NOT the same thing in ANY universe. The reason that the national debt went up even during the “surplus” years is because spending went beyond what was budgeted every single time. And both Clinton and the Republicans are responsible for that–the Republicans for authorizing the spending in the first place, and Clinton for not vetoing it the minute it crossed his desk.

    This mortgaging of the country’s future–making “extend and pretend” a national economic policy–has been going on since at least the mid-1970s (longer, really although it took a major inflationary cycle to finally bring it to light), and has been done by both parties. In that context, any claims of available “surplus” are completely pointless given that the national debt has never been paid down. What’s the use of claiming that you’ll have extra money at the end of the year, only to be even further in the hole when the end of the year actually rolls around?

    Another Chris (35bdd0)

  300. “National debt” is not the same as “the debt” or “public debt.”

    Because there was surplus in Social Security, they had to buy treasury securities with the SS surplus, which raised intragovernmental debt, and hence the “national debt” which has nothing to do with calculating federal budget surpluses and deficits. The public debt, or “the debt” was paid down several times under Clinton.

    Regardless, national debt has nothing to do with budget surpluses. What is your argument here? What do you want them to change, specifically, that you think is so wonky? Why do you think the national debt figures somehow work into the calculations for budget surpluses?

    Chris Hooten (0e1f31)

  301. I think it’s clear enough that Chris’s twisted strained bizarre logic is exactly what it takes at this point to support Obama. He knows he’s ignoring the actual point, inventing strange facts, and has no logical structure at all to what’s actually happened with the budget.

    It’s impossible to reason. If the economy turns around by 2012, Obama will win, even if a recovery is in spite of his efforts. Even if it’s because of GOP efforts. That’s just how it is. Some people have no idea, so rely on strange and stubborn arguments. If Bush were a democrat, and Clinton a Republican, Chris would obviously flip 100%, while those critical of both’s spending wouldn’t have to. It’s interesting that those critical of the spending mistakes of either party tend to be conservative, and those who twist about tend to be democrat.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  302. CH, and his accounting (mis)principles, are the reason why the Federal Government, most of the State Governments, and the Country at large, is in one, huge, fiscal mess.
    We tax what we say we want more of (savings) and then scratch our heads in wonderment that total savings are “in the tank”.
    We subsidize what we say we want less of (unemployment/welfare), and – again – scratch our heads in total disbelief when the numbers are upside-down.
    Greece is the “canary in the mine-shaft” and we’re not smart enough to realize we need to change how we operate our government.
    Well, we always do get the government we deserve, don’t we?
    And the “Chris Hooten’s” of the world sit on the budgeting and appropriations committee’s, guiding us into oblivion.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ad3aba)

  303. Regardless, national debt has nothing to do with budget surpluses

    Comedy gold.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  304. Regardless, national debt has nothing to do with budget surpluses

    Comedy gold.

    Comment by SPQR

    This is how one can believe Obama will cut spending and increase entitlements drastically. By lying to yourself, anything is possible. The real point, of course, is that Obama/Pelosi/Reid are spending a ridiculous amount of money, and pretending it’s not their fault because of some Clinton era accounting lie is disgustingly partisan.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  305. Yeah, Fools Gold!

    AD - RtR/OS! (ad3aba)

  306. I am going to give a loan to myself, write a check for the loan from my checking account, and then when I do my monthly finances, I will not count the loan repayment as it is just an intrapersonal loan, and it just does not count.

    JD (150c8d)

  307. That’s how it is done. The revenue is already in from the taxes for SSF, so the surplus is spent on treasury securities. However, the revenue is still included in the budget surplus calculation. Correct. If you had yearly revenue from taxes every year, there would be no loan repayment, although after a number of years the securities would mature.

    Chris Hooten (6b9b13)

  308. loan

    Chris Hooten (6b9b13)

  309. Dustin, email me, an I’ll send you my PSN, or just put yours here, and I’ll friend you. chrishooten@yahoo.com No warhawk, though :-(

    Chris Hooten (6b9b13)

  310. Good Allah. No wonder the Dems can claim that BarckyCare was deficit neutral with a straight face. Their supporters are mental midgets. Aggressively so.

    JD (150c8d)

  311. National debt is not used at all in the federal budget. Why do you think it is? Public debt is, but national debt is not. Where did you get that idea? Oh yeah, that Craig Steiner idiot. So far you have claimed that because the “national debt” went up each year, there was no surplus, even though the concept of “national debt” is unassociated with the concept of a federal budget surplus, and actually confuses the issue of intragovernmental debt SS is paid through tax revenue. When it exceeds what SS needs, it is a surplus, and they purchase treasury securities with it, raising intragovernemental debt. The revenues have already come in, though, and if the revenues exceeded the spending overall, you have a budget surplus, although the “national debt” could still go up, and did, despite paying down the public debt.

    Chris Hooten (f3fad1)

  312. Good read , I’m going to spend more time learning about this subject

    slacker (f439de)


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